Science on Screen: Embrace of the Serpent at Real Art Ways

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Science on Screen: Embrace of the Serpent

Real Art Ways Science on Screen® season invites you to experience the unique combination of a feature film and a relevant talk from a notable local figure in science.

“Visually and emotionally stunning.” – The Australian 

“It is surely one of the most beautiful films in a long time.” – Sydney Morning Herald

“A gripping and absorbing piece of work.” – Guardian

“This film conveys a haunting sense of the Western world having lost its compass. Wisdom is fleeting, it tells us. The Amazon is fragile. The rocks and plants speak to us too, if we’re willing to listen.” – Washington Post

96% on Rotten Tomatoes


In the early 1900s, a young shaman in the Colombian Amazon helps a sick German explorer and his local guide search for a rare healing plant.

6:30: Pre-Film Discussion with Dr. Brandon Ogbunu

Dr. Ogbunu will lead a talk the evolution of the human mind, how environmental factors have mold our brain, and how our brain is constantly adapting to our changing world.

About Dr. Brandon Ogbunu

Dr. Brandon Ogbunu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University. His research takes place at the intersection of evolutionary biology, genetics, and epidemiology. He uses experimental evolution, mathematical modeling, and computational biology to better understand the underlying causes and consequences of disease, across scales: from the biophysics of proteins involved in drug resistance to the social determinants driving epidemics at the population level.

In doing so, he aims to develop theory that enriches our understanding of the evolutionary and ecological underpinnings of disease, while contributing to practical solutions for clinical medicine and public health. He completed his PhD at Yale University in 2010 and postdoctoral fellowships at Harvard University and the Broad Institute. He has been the recipient of the UNCF-Merck, the Broad Institute Diversity Fellowship and the Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship.

He comes to Yale after two years on the faculty at Brown University. Brandon is also currently a visiting research scientist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Headshot of Dr. Brandon from Yale University.

Science on Screen Logo

Science on Screen is an initiative of the COOLIDGE CORNER THEATRE, with major support from the ALFRED P. SLOAN FOUNDATION.