Embrace Of The Serpent

The Frida Cinema Santa Ana, CA


Dr. Bernard McGrane

Professor of Sociology, Chapman University

Embrace of the Serpent— Uncertainty: Where existence itself starts to fragment—Sleeping, dreaming, and the science of microdosing

Dr. Bernard McGrane, Professor of Sociology at Chapman University and founder of the meditation course Ancient Wisdom and Modern Madness—Mind, Self and Society in Tibetan Buddhism, discusses many of the themes, symbols, and spiritual investigations that are presented throughout Guerra’s provocative work of art.

The Frida Cinema Santa Ana, CA

Film Synopsis

The story of the relationship between Karamakate, an Amazonian shaman and last survivor of his people, and two scientists who work together over the course of 40 years to search the Amazon for a sacred healing plant.

The film tells two stories, taking place in 1909 and 1940, both starring Karamakate (played as a young man by Nilbio Torres and as an older man by Antonio Bolivar) an Amazonian shaman and last survivor of his tribe. He travels with two scientists, German Theodor Koch-Grunberg (Jan Bijvoet) and American Richard Evans Schultes (Brionne Davis), to look for the rare yakruna, a sacred plant. The film is loosely inspired by the diaries written by the two scientists during their field work in the Amazon. Embrace of the Serpent won the Art Cinema Award in the Directors' Fortnight section at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, and it was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards.

About the Speaker

Bernard McGrane (Ph.D. New York University) is a Professor of Sociology at Chapman University, Orange, CA. His principle fields of study have been sociology, philosophy, anthropology and intellectual history, and he has poured his passions for writing and teaching into his works Beyond Anthropology, Society and the Other; The Un-TV and the 10 MPH Car: Experiments in Personal Freedom and Everyday Life; This Book is Not Required, An Emotional Survival Manual for Students; and Watching Television is Not Required. He is also featured in two educational videos: The Ad and the Id: Sex, Death and Subliminal Advertising and The Ad and the Ego: Advertising and Identity. He offers a wide variety of courses: Social Psychology, Sociology of Death and Dying; Sexual Literacy and Society; Mass Communications and Society; Advertising and Society; Honors: Death, Self and Society; Honors: Cosmology Self and Society; Honors: Social Movements of the Sixties. He also offers a number of Meditation courses, notably Ancient Wisdom and Modern Madness—Mind, Self and Society in Tibetan Buddhism, a relatively inexpensive ten-day travel/meditation course to a Tibetan American Meditation center in the Colorado Rockies called Shambhala Mountain Center.