Ayahuasca Meets the Old West
It seems that the cinema is capable of capturing and doing justice to some of the visual brilliance of an altered state of consciousness, even one as strange and mystical as ayahuasca. Jan Kounen's film, Renegade, a spaghetti western set alongside the culture of ayahuasca shamanism, is based on a comic book by the famous visionary artist Moebius. The movie features several ayahuasca ceremonies that are deeply moving and tremendously well conceived.
The French filmaker's spiritually dazzling works include an ayahuasca documentary called Other Worlds, and a series of one-hour television documentaries on shamanism called Another Reality.
In this wonderful interview, Kounen talks candidly about "his work with the shamans of South America, the plant medicine ayahuasca, the difficulties of bringing the other world onto the screen — as well as the altered state of contemporary media itself. "Tweet