ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – B – Birds of Passage (2018) Movie Review

Director: Cristina Gallego, Ciro Guerra

Writer: Maria Camila Arias, Jacques Toulemonde Vidal (Screenplay)

Starring: Carmina Martinez, Jose Acosta, Natalia Reyes, Jhon Narvaez, Juan Bautista Martinez, Miguel Viera

Plot: During the marijuana bonanza, a violent decade that saw the origins of drug trafficking in Colombia, Rapayet and his indigenous family get involved in a war to control the business that ends up destroying their lives and their culture.


Tagline – Generations of tradition. Consumed by greed.

Runtime: 2 Hours 5 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Watching Spiral is Fascinating

Story: Birds of Passage starts when a young woman Zaida (Reyes) gets released upon the world, where the men must earn the right to marry her, with Rapayet (Acosta) winning this right, he is trying to do something different in the business for the tribes, looking to move into Marijuana sells, knowing the new booming market could improve the economy of the country.

With the business thriving Rapayet must deal with problems on his own side, with his partner Moises (Narvaez) who is starting to get out of control, testing the patience of the locals in the Wayuu tribe, forcing Rapayet to fix the problem as the war on drugs is only just starting.

Thoughts on Birds of Passage

Characters – Ursula is the town’s elder, if she doesn’t approve of a decision, the people will not get it through, she expects traditions, respect and hard work from every member of the tribe to make sure everything runs smoothly. Rapayet is a member of the Wayuu tribe, who has connections outside of the tribe, which sees him move into the drug trafficking business, he marries Zaida and sees his business continue to grow, only for him to see more enemies arrive in his life. Zaida emerges from her tribes tradition ready to find a partner, she ends up with Rapayet and learns about the world of drugs from seeing the better things coming their way. Moises is the partner to Rapayet who starts to get out of control with his actions, forcing Rapayet into a world of bloodshed that he never wanted.

PerformancesWhen we come to the performances, we do get to see Carmina Martinez and Natalia Reyes bringing the traditional female figures in this world to life, while Jose Acosta brings us the quiet drug lord who is constantly torn between both worlds.

StoryThe story here follows a small tribe that enter the drug trafficking world as we follow 20 years of their time in this world, having to face different problems, while remaining traditional. This is an interesting story because it does show how traditions in tribes can be pushed to the limits when people look to branch to new levels, when we dive into the drug side of the story, it is everything we have seen before, with everything slowly going out of control because of the actions of a few reckless greedy people. For how the story is told, it shows most of the story through the eyes of how Ursula sees the traditions going out of her hands.

CrimeThe crime side of the film does follow how the tribe enters the world of drugs and how things slowly start to get bigger and deadlier.

SettingsThe film does us the settings to show the changes, with the small village, before moving into the brick houses, while also showing us the beauty of the roads which will only lead to death.


Scene of the Movie – The traditions.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The crime side of everything has been done before.

Final Thoughts This is a wonderful looks at how family traditions can clash with the rising dominance of the drug world in Columbia, all to deadly consequences.

Overall: Hard Hitting Drama.