Birds of Passage

This film has some style and substance though I must warn you that it cannot be classified as entertaining.

Birds of PassageFilmed in Spanish with English subtitles, Birds of Passage is a somber crime saga devoid of any semblance of a happy ending. It centers on a Columbian drug war beginning in the 1960s and ending in the 1980s where families are torn apart as they make a fortune selling marijuana to Americans.

The movie begins when Úrsula (Carmiña Martínez), the leader of the Wayuu family, brings her daughter Zaida (Natalia Reyes) out of confinement to allow an appropriate man to come forward as her future husband. Zaida resembles an Egyptian goddess with her painted face and Rapayet (José Acosta) proceeds to dance with her at a family gathering where he pledges to meet the demand for a large dowry. Our couple marries and seems to have a bright future until Rapayet discovers the availability of marijuana from a neighboring family.

What the movie proceeds to do is describe the destruction centering around the marijuana trade. Regardless of its alleged negative effects on American youth, the families in Columbia ended up in a vicious drug war centering around providing the bagged pot to American pilots who pay an immense sum of money before flying away with their cargo.

Without saying more, violence is unleashed in this film when Rapayet’s friend Moisés (played memorably by Jhon Narváez) kills some of the American pilots over the objections of his companions. Vengeance is sought by everyone, particularly when Úrsula’s deranged son Leonídas (Greider Meza) sexually assaults the daughter of Aníbal (Juan Bautista Martínez) the powerful leader of the family in total control of the marijuana growing fields.

Let me conclude that this 2 hour, 5 minutes film is a version of the American film Goodfellas (1990) where nearly everyone meets a violent end. It made me want to light up a joint.