Aya on Film
Austrian filmmaker Rudolf Pinto do Amaral traveled to the jungles of Iquitos, Peru to explore Amazonian shamanism with the help of scholars, skeptics, jungle guides, indigenous activists, shamans and ayahuasqueros. The result is Heaven Earth, an experimental hour-long documentary that delves deep into the phenomenon of curanderismo, or Latin American folk healing. The film touches on various aspects of the healing tradition, including the view of nature as a pharmacy, the traditional role of shamans in tribal culture, the value of indigenous knowledge for both Westerners and Amazonian descendants, intellectual property laws applied to ancient practices, and even brujeria or spiritual witchcraft. The movie seamlessly weaves commentary, footage of ceremonies, and beautiful shots of the Peruvian city and jungle together to depict the past, present, and future of plant-based spiritual practices.
With its combination of insightful dialogue and alluring imagery, Heaven Earth offers an immersive look into the healing practices that are poised to be rediscovered in the West.
You can see the movie in its entirety here.
image: "Ayahuasca patterns" by Ayahuasca in San Francisco on Flickr courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.Tweet