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Keep the River on Your Right - A Modern Cannibal Tale
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- Deleted scenes
- Photo/Sketch Gallery with original artwork by Tobias Schneebaum
- Original Color Illustrations by Tobias Schneebaum from the children's book Jungle Journey
- Filmmaker Biographies
- Tobias Schneebaum Biography
Top Customer Reviews
It's difficult to know how to rate this film, because it is a poorly crafted film about an interesting subject. The film's nonsensical organization obstructs most of the narrative. Its camera work leaves something to be desired. "Keep the River on Your Right" starts out in the present, then flashes back to some point in the recent past when Schneebaum visited the Asmat people in New Guinea, with whom he had lived in the 1970s. Then we learn about his life as an artist in New York. Then about his childhood. At the film's halfway point, we still have no idea where his infamous Peruvian adventure, from which the film takes its name, fits in or how Schneebaum came to be such a dogged adventurer. The second half is better. Schneebaum returns to Peru at the filmmakers' urging to recount his experience of 45 years before and to search for any Amarekaire who might remember him.Read more ›
The talk show footage from the 1960s/1970s was particularly interesting to me. The talk show host was very interested in the aspects of this "primitive" culture, and persisted with prejudiced questions. Mr. Schneebaum spoke for the people he studied, and helped people understand that they are no different.
One qualm I had was the movie's subtitle: A Modern Cannibal's Tale. I felt that it was not a major part of the movie, and that the directors made a big deal out of it. Was it for marketing: Cannibals always sell? I do not think that a few isolated incidences of cannibalism make someone a life-long cannibal. It was silly to even put the word in the title. The movie offers so much more.
Mr. Scheenbaum is articulate and witty and a good storyteller. He's speaks openly about his homosexuality and there is a lot of introspection about his experience of cannibalism. He's written several books on the subject and we see film clips from excerpts from talk shows he's been on through the years. While I found the movie interesting, I had a big problem with it. It's all about Mr. Scheenbaum. It's not about the people of New Guinea or Peru. I guess I was hoping for an anthropological film. I wanted to know more about the tribe in New Guinea than the fact that Mr. Scheenbaum had male lovers. I wanted to know what the meaning of cannibalism had in the rituals of the people of Peru. I wanted to know about both these tribes' religious customs, marriage rituals, burial practices, etc. In short, I wanted to take my own trip into the rainforest and learn about the way of these people.
Alas, this was not to happen.Read more ›
This documentary recounts Tobias' previous experiences while also taking him back to Peru and New Guinea to visit the tribal societies he had once lived with. The movie also juxtaposes Tobias' life in Manhattan with the life and culture of the tribes. For example, an Indonesian circumsison ritual is depicted as is Tobias' attending of a family celebration on a Jewish holiday. I especially loved the part which showed a New Guinea man, in full tribal regalia, attending an auction to sell tribal art to New York collectors. Tobias translated that the man was enjoying his trip because he liked the culture of New York. Talk about being a "stranger in a strange world" - just amazing!. Still the point seemed to be that the the core qualities we share as fellow human beings are so much stronger and deeply rooted than the superfical differences that separate us.
But really this doc is less an in-depth anthropological study than a celebration of the incredible life of Tobias Schneebaum.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved that this move that I had to watch for class was available to watch on streaming, so convenient!Published 2 months ago by Jen
Seller description was accurate. Enjoyed the film. Find Schneebaum a pretty fascinating guy. Can't imagine doing what he did, but interesting none the less. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Lotus Goddess
What a remarkable human being with an unbiased approach in the search and discovery of the spirit and soul of mankind!Published 18 months ago by Notorious PKW
This is a captivating and interesting story of Tobias Schneebaum's life and his experiences with indigenous tribes. Read morePublished on January 27, 2014 by Laurie A. Ure
This film was wonderfully crafted and the footage that makes up the documentary story line combined with the talk show interviews create a compelling story ... Read morePublished on May 1, 2013 by D. Reed Anderson
You must be kidding me! How was this guy taken seriously? Tobias S. supposedly went to seek out a murderous cannibal tribe when a guy with feathers stuck in his face came to a... Read morePublished on February 13, 2012 by skeptic
A story of returning to Amazonian wilderness fourty five years on since in younger days a doco had been made there. Read morePublished on February 18, 2009 by Michael Kerjman
"Keep the River on Your Right" is as much a documentary about an artist's alienation from civilization as it is about cannibalism among the Asmat people of Papua New Guinea. Read morePublished on October 4, 2008 by Amaranth