‘Icaros: A Vision': Film Review

Leonor Caraballo and Matteo Norzi’s entrance finds a communication in a much-exploited Peruvian hallucinogen.

In new years, cocktail enlightenment has done increasingly visit anxiety to a ancient Peruvian drug ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic plant remove used in shamanic rituals. Perhaps a smartest and many gratifying to date is Icaros: A Vision, a partnership between Leonor Caraballo and Matteo Norzi, that moves this week to ubiquitous recover after a year on a festival circuit. Using genuine life believe as a springboard for elegant fiction, a design centers on an American lady seeking recovering in a Amazon. But a fragrance of informative allowance that infrequently clings to projects like this is absent here, with a filmmakers both respecting a mysteries of internal believe and profitable as most courtesy to a believe of an neophyte shaman as to that of his white patients. The film should be good perceived in arthouses.

Caraballo, an artist whose practice desirous a film, encountered ayahuasca after flourishing a conflict with breast cancer. While regulating a drug, she had a foreboding of her death; soon, doctors satisfied she had bone cancer. She chose to make this film during her illness, and died during postproduction.

Her illusory substitute here is Angelina (Ana Cecilia Stieglitz), who has come to a Amazon to face her possess (unspecified though clearly serious) medical condition. Wary as she checks into a shelter catering to foreigners, she goes by an rudimentary conference alongside others pang reduction apocalyptic conditions. An Italian actor (Filippo Timi), for instance, is perplexing to heal a ongoing stutter.

Set in an tangible ayahuasca retreat, a film surrounds a illusory patients (known as “passengers” here) with genuine shamans and support staff. The non-actors play versions of themselves: The conduct shaman, Guillermo Arevalo, has for decades been one of Peru’s heading proponents of normal medicine. (At slightest one of his lodges has generated debate about a diagnosis of patients.)

Arevalo has a immature apprentice, Arturo Izquierdo, who oversees a night rituals in that ayahuasca is administered. While passengers recline on cots, any experiencing his possess vision, Arturo looks during them and sees radio sets, any tuned to a opposite bizarre channel.

The film lingers usually prolonged adequate in these sessions to elicit a believe of a drug (with calm FX and intelligent modifying — in Angelina’s case, incorporating many fast-cut images of her CT scans) and to explain that drugs are usually partial of a treatment. We watch as hosts blow a fume of Mapuche cigarettes on patients to clean them; we listen as they intone icaros, spell-like songs meant to promote any passenger’s journey.

When a film initial focuses on Arturo in a daytime, examination him blemish his eyes, we might consider we’re looking during a after-effects of mind-altering substances: Creepily, his margin of prophesy is putrescent by a particular fractal patterns that underline prominently in Shipibo art. But Arturo is indeed in a early stages of a degenerative eye disease, something that will move him closer to Angelina.

The loyalty between a dual reserve usually adequate account calm for Caraballo and Norzi (and co-screenwriter Abou Farman) to get divided with what unequivocally seems to seductiveness them: coaxing viewers into a contented gait of life here, assisting them reset their expectations and turn open to opposite modes of perception. Calling itself a “vision” as against to a “film,” Icaros attempts to conquer fear — of death, of blindness, of detriment — by usurpation a potential of a sorcery it knows it will never understand.


Production company: Conibo Productions

Distributor: Factory 25

Cast: Ana Cecilia Stieglitz, Filippo Timi, Arturo Izquierdo, Guillermo Arevalo, Lurdes Valles, Dominga Vales

Directors: Leonor Caraballo, Matteo Norzi

Screenwriters: Leonor Caraballo, Abou Farman, Matteo Norzi

Producers: Abour Farman, Aziz Isham, Matteo Norzi

Director of photography: Ghasem Ebrahimian

Editor: Elia Gasull Balada

Casting director: Tracy Kilpatrick


In Spanish and English

90 minutes

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