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Watching the Shaman's Apprentice

About the Video:
"Dr. Mark Plotkin first traveled to the Amazon twenty years ago seeking a cure for diabetes, the disease that killed his grandmothers. There he found extraordinary biological riches. He found a magical world of shape-shifting shamans who healed with sophisticated plant medicines. In this paradise, the renowned scientist and author met the challenge of his life: how could he save this treasure when each year brought more destruction? Rain forest conservation is a familiar issue to every schoolchild; what is less well known is that the cultures of the jungles are disappearing faster than the forests themselves. Yet the indigenous people of the Amazon, living in these remote regions for millennia, are the only true experts about this vast and little understood region. They employ an amazing array of plants for their survival without disturbing the fragile ecology of the jungle. As Mark Plotkin came to understand, when native knowledge is lost we suffer the immeasurable loss of extinction, both spiritually and scientifically. Beautifully filmed in the distant forests of Suriname, this documentary weaves a compelling and complex tale of rainforest medicine, shamanism, persistence, and passion. The Shaman's Apprentice is a luminous and powerful story of one man's quest to preserve the ancient wisdom of our species." (Amazon)

Superb, compelling, definitive. I thought I was clued in to this subject. I was not. Now I am. --E. O. Wilson, Harvard University

Dazzling visuals, cutting edge science and a compelling story make The Shaman's Apprentice a feast for the eyes, the heart, and the of the most stunning rainforest films ever made. --Ken Cook, President, Environmental Working Group

The entire film is incredibly well done. Since few people will ever have the opportunity to intermingle with native Amazonian peoples, or for that matter, even visit the Amazonian rain forest, the film can instill a good sense of the actual experience. The photography is absolutely first class, the sounds of nature, the music and other audio effects are wonderful, and the overall script is very logical in terms of content and temporal sequence. Plotkin himself, frequently on screen, is a likable character who is reasonably photogenic and a surprisingly good actor. It is easy to identify with the courage and dedication that is required to perform such work. --John M. Pezzuto, Pharmaceutical Biology 2002, Vol. 40. #1


7.1/10 on

Runtime: 54 Minutes

We will follow the video with some discussion.

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