• Academy Award®

    Colombia's submission for Best Foreign Language Film
  • BFI London Film Festival

    Best Film - Honourable Mention
  • Fenix Film Awards

    Best Film, Actress, Music
  • Havana Film Festival

    Best Film
  • Cannes Film Festival

  • Chicago International Film Festival

    Best Art Direction, Cinematography
  • Lima Latin American Film Festival

    Best Director
  • Cairo International Film Festival

    Winner International, Competition
  • Palm Springs International Film Festival

Related Films
Giants don’t existGiants don’t exist(Los gigantes no existen)Chema RodríguezGuatemala in the 1980s, at the height of the ruthless civil war against the country’s indigenous communities. Andrés is 9 years old. He lives with ...GuaraníGuaraní(Guaraní)Luis ZorraquínA heartfelt story, Guaraní follows fisherman Atilio as he travels with his granddaughter Iara to Buenos Aires. His great desire is to have a grandson to ...Yvy Maraey, Land Without EvilYvy Maraey, Land Without Evil(Yvy Maraey, Tierra Sin Mal)Juan Carlos ValdiviaA Bolivian filmmaker and a Guaraní Indian travel together through the forests of southeastern Bolivia to make a film about the Guaraní people. The ...The Spirit of The AncestorsThe Spirit of The Ancestors(Te Kuhane o te Tupuna: El espíritu de los ancestros)Leonardo PakaratiThe Spirit of the Ancestors tells the story of Moia Hoa Haka Nana’ia, one of Rapa Nui’s (Easter Island) sacred spirits, also known as the ...MartírioMartírio(Martírio)VINCENT CARELLI, co-directed by Ernesto de Carvalho, Tatiana AlmeidaFilmed over the course of 40 years, indigenous expert and filmmaker Vincent Carelli seeks out the origins of the Guaraní Kaiowá genocide. A conflict of ...Liquid TruthLiquid Truth(AOS TEUS OLHOS)Carolina JaborWhat if the only evidence of a crime is the testimony of a parent interpreting the unclear words of her child? Alex is a young boy on the swimming team. ...Un TraductorUn Traductor(Un Traductor)Rodrigo Barriuso, Sebastián BarriusoACADEMY AWARD® CUBA’S SUBMISSION FOR BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM Based on the little-known true story of how twenty thousand Chernobyl victims ...7 Weeks7 Weeks(7 Semanas)Constanza FigariCamila is a young dance student. She has a committed boyfriend and supporting family, but when she discovers she is pregnant, all that love and ...The TerritoriesThe Territories(Los Territorios)Iván GranovskyThe desire to bear witness to the world’s great tragedies is addressed playfully by Iván Granovsky in humorous The Territories. It’s a miracle ...Camila’s AwakeningCamila’s Awakening(El Despertar de Camila)Rosario Jiménez GiliWhat would you do with a second chance? At seventeen, Camila got too used to win. Smart and beautiful, she has managed to achieve every goal. She loves ...I GirlI Girl(Yo niña)Natural ArpajouBased on the director’s autobiographical experiences, I Girl tells the story of Armonía, a little girl who lives with Pablo and Julia, who seem to be ...
Pricing
FILM WITH PPR FOR EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS AND ORGANIZATIONS$425Buy Now
FILM WITH PPR AND DSL 3 YEARS$499Buy Now
FILM WITH PPR AND DSL PERPETUAL$599Buy Now
K-12, PUBLIC LIBRARIES, COMMUNITY GROUP$145Buy Now

Wayuu, English, and Spanish with English subtitles

With Carmiña Martínez, José Acosta, Natalia Reyes, Jhon Narváez, Greider Meza, José Vicente Cote, Juan Bautista Martínez

ACADEMY AWARD® COLOMBIA’S SUBMISSION FOR BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra, the creative team behind Oscar®-nominated Embrace of the Serpent (also available for your SFC festival), return with this inspired mob epic for the ages — a completely fresh take on the origins of the Colombian drug trade, far from Narcos and Escobar, as told through the story of an indigenous Wayúu family.

In the 1970s, as an American-fueled marijuana boom hits Colombia, farmers quickly turn into seasoned businessmen starting a narco-trafficking era known as “la Bonanza Marimbera.”

In the Guajira desert, one indigenous Wayúu clan takes a leading role. Guided by matriarch Ursula Pushaina, the “Birds of Passage”—drug runners—face the constant risk of violence and incarceration from the outsiders in Northern Colombia. The cultural differences between the native population and the newcomers begin a brutal war that threatens to destroy the Wayúu way of life. As greed, passion, and honor blend together over the decades, the family’s unity, their lives, and their ancestral traditions are all put at stake.

A true story, the visually striking Birds of Passage is as much a thriller as it is an anthropological study on the consequences of outside influences to indigenous traditions.

About the Directors
Ciro Guerra was born on Río de Oro (Cesar, Colombia) in 1981 and studied film and television at the National University of Colombia. At the age of 21, after directing four multi-award-winning short films, he wrote and directed La sombra del caminante (The Wandering Shadow), his feature directorial debut, which won awards at the San Sebastian, Toulouse, Mar de Plata, Trieste, Havana, Quito, Cartagena, Santiago, and Warsaw film festivals, and was selected for 60 more, including Tribeca, Locarno, Seoul, Pesaro, Seattle, Hamburg, Kolkata, Rio de Janeiro, Istanbul, and Guadalajara.

His second feature film, Los viajes del viento (The Wind’s Journeys), was part of the Official Selection – Un Certain Regard of the Cannes Film Festival in 2009. It was released in 17 countries and selected by 90 festivals, including Toronto, Rotterdam, San Sebastián, Hong Kong, Jerusalem, and London, receiving different awards in Cannes, Santa Bárbara, Málaga, Santiago, Bogotá, and Cartagena. It was recently selected in a national critic’s poll as one of the 10 most important Colombian films.

All of Guerra’s feature films to date have been chosen to represent Colombia in the Academy Awards®.

Isabel Cristina Gallego Lozano was born in Bogotá in 1978. She graduated from the School of Film & TV of the National University of Colombia in 2003, and in Advertising & Marketing at the Politecnico Grancolombiano in 1999. Between 2003 and 2007 she worked as a producer of educational and cultural television at the National University of Colombia. In 1998, together with Ciro Guerra, she founded Ciudad Lunar, a company that produced the acclaimed feature films Wandering Shadows (2004), The Wind Journeys (2009), and Embrace of the Serpent (2015), all directed by Ciro Guerra.
Press

Birds of Passage conveys a sense of mystery in its depiction of native custom and belief, while at the same time using familiar tropes from gangster melodrama to make the unusual milieu accesible. The result is a distinctive, compelling drama. Highly Recommended.” – F. Swietek, Video Librarian

“NYT Critic's Pick. It’s about how the world changes, about how individual actions and the forces of fate work in concert to bring glory and ruin to a hero and his family...[It's] like nothing I’ve ever seen before.” – A.O. Scott, The New York Times

“Imagine "The Godfather" made by dazzling Latin American directors who combine bravura filmmaking with political awareness and a probing social conscience.” – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

“Extraordinary and unique.”The Guardian

“You’ve never seen one [South American drug story] like Birds of Passage, a visually stunning and often surprising true story that charts the rise of the Colombian drug business back before Escobar from its unexpected roots, among an indigenous clan in way over their heads. Matching its artistic vision in anthropological value, this fresh take on a familiar genre — told from the point of view of the country’s Wayuu people — marks an ambitious follow up to the Oscar-nominated Embrace of the Serpent for helmer Ciro Guerra and his wife, producer Cristina Gallego.” – Peter Debruge, Variety

“Another fascinating tone poem about Colombia’s fractured identity...Set against an atmosphere of hissing insects, whooshing wind, wandering storks and braying goats, Birds of Passage remains fixated on the way this rustic existence seems at odds with the advancing threats of capitalist desire. "Death is all around us," Rapayert says, and later concludes: “We’re already dead.” To that end, Birds of Passage represents a seance for a country still working through the ghosts of the past.” – Eric Kohn, IndieWire

“A MASTERPIECE! An absolutely extraordinary film.”The Playlist

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.” – Sara Stewart, New York Post

“Richly textured images both unfold the action in tense detail and enmesh it in its social context, rescuing cultural memory from tragic devastation.” – Richard Brody, New Yorker

“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.” – David Fear, Rolling Stone