Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Shamans of the Amazon

Dean Jefferys' SHAMANS OF THE AMAZON, is far and away the best film yet made on ayahuasca and Amazonian shamanism. Dean Jefferys filmed his trip to Amazonia, with wife and child, his encounters and experiences with traditional ayahuasqueros, as well as with Western ayahuasca guides and healers, conducting what I call "hybrid" rituals; and scholars of shamanism such as the late Terence McKenna, and the Brazilian healer Yatra who started a heroin addiction treatment program using ayahuasca in Holland.

The filmmaker used innovative techniques for bringing the visionary paintings of Pablo Amaringo to life and movement -- thereby creating the best media representation of inner visions that I have seen. Jefferys also filmed informative and incisive interviews with spokespeople for groups working to preserve the ecological and cultural integrity of Amazonian tribes; and demonstrations in Western cities protesting the drug war prohibition of sacred medicines.

By giving the political and global context within which the ritual use of shamanic entheogens is pursued, he has succeded in giving a complete and well-rounded portrait of this complex situation.

No comments: