Embrace of the Serpent (Home), a stunning film about the price that indigenous people have paid for colonialism. This time it is the Columbian Amazon and the story of a shaman, Karamakate, who is the last survivor of his tribe, and his relationship with two scientists over 40 years. The script is inspired by the journals of two scientists, German ethnobotanist Theodor Koch-Grünberg and American botanist Richard Evans Schultes who spent years in the Columbian Amazon seeking a sacred healing plant. Made in black and white – but just as powerful because of it – it is nature that dominates, imposing a dreamy state on the viewer as we sail down the river with the shaman and his friends, seeking a cure for their physical and mental ills. At the heart of the film is the impact of western colonialism: destroying people, their environment and their culture. Karamakate does not let the scientists off the hook as their journey takes them to a destination that neither of the men expected. It is not an easy film to watch, but is mesmerising and stays with you long after you leave the cinema.
a new drama A Bed of Shards by local playwright Jane McNulty at the Lowry Theatre on 1 & 2 July. Two women face being moved from their home in a tower block to a council bungalow, but have different attitudes to the move. Whilst Ronnie embraces the possibilities of a new beginning, her partner, the reclusive Button, fears the move will bring exposure and loss. Good to see drama about ordinary older people who share all our own worries about the future.
Watch the trailer here
to some films about female political activists, it’s one for women only, as part of the Create Film Festival. On Sunday 10 July 2016 you can watch three films exploring the role of women in recent conflicts. This includes a film about Eqyptian women in the 2011 Arab Spring in The Trials of Spring (2015) by Gini Reticker, the war in Sri Lanka in I Too Have a Name and Colours of Resistance (2014) about refugees in Jordan. More info see
to Backlash Blues, written by Langston Hughes, African American poet, activist, novelist, and playwright, and sung by Nina Simone. In his work he depicted the lives of poor blacks, articulating their demands for equality and justice. Nina Simone was not just a singer and writer, in the 60s she took her anger about the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama and the killing of four children, and poured it into her songs and performances. This is one of her best see