Birds of Passage (Pájaros de verano) (2019)

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Critic Consensus: Birds of Passage traces the familiar arc of the drug crime thriller from a different direction that's as visually absorbing as it is hard-hitting.

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Movie Info

From the Oscar (R)-nominated team behind the genre-defying Embrace of the Serpent, comes an equally audacious saga centered on the Wayúu indigenous people during a crucial period in recent Colombian history. Torn between his desire to become a powerful man and his duty to uphold his culture's values, Rapayet (José Acosta) enters the drug trafficking business in the 1970s and finds quick success despite his tribe's matriarch Ursula's (Carmiña Martínez) disapproval. Ignoring ancient omens, Rapayet and his family get caught up in a conflict where honor is the highest currency and debts are paid with blood. A sprawling epic about the erosion of tradition in pursuit of material wealth, Birds of Passage is a visually striking exploration of loyalty, greed, and the voracious nature of change.

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Critic Reviews for Birds of Passage (Pájaros de verano)

All Critics (60) | Top Critics (15)

The movie is a knockout.

Feb 16, 2019 | Full Review…

Since the movie is set in the decades before Escobar's prime, it lacks the kind of narco sheen western audiences have flocked to, but it's very much an analogy for that era, the lives it took and the shame it's left behind for the survivors.

Feb 15, 2019 | Full Review…

Harrowing in its repetitive violence, but never less than fascinating as a piece of ethnology, with magic-realist dimensions, that amounts to an origin story of the Latin American drug trade. It's an extraordinarily accomplished piece of filmmaking.

Feb 15, 2019 | Full Review…

"Birds of Passage" is a standout in the sprawling drug-empire genre, showing the effects of the trade on locals and refusing to romanticize the family at its center.

Feb 14, 2019 | Full Review…

Imagine "The Godfather" made by dazzling Latin American directors who combine bravura filmmaking with political awareness and a probing social conscience.

Feb 14, 2019 | Full Review…

Three viewings in, I'm still flabbergasted by the scope and detail of this movie ... and in awe of the way its unique cover version of a crime-doesn't-pay story totally pays off.

Feb 13, 2019 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

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