Ayahuasca is a entheogentic or psychoactive vine-based plant brew that have been used for healing by shamans for thousands of years. It is widely known throughout South America for its healing and visionary properties that has, in recent years, caught the attention of the Western world. Ayahuasca is called a plant teacher because it can heal physical, psychological and emotional blocks and through vivid visions take the patient to other realms and dimensions providing profound insights into human beings true nature and place in the cosmos.
Intrigued by these extraordinary claims, filmmaker Michael Wiese went to the home of Don Jose Campos, an internationally known Peruvian shaman or curandero, to experience first hand the healing and transformational aspects of Ayahuasca. Shot on location in the jungle and in the Amazonian river towns of Pulcallpa and Iquitos Peru, this 73-minute film documents the shamanic work and ayahuasca ceremonies of Don Jose Campos and includes the last filmed interview with internationally renowned visionary painter and former shaman Pablo Amaringo. Also included are interviews and an exploration of medicinal plants with famed biochemist Julio Arce Hildalgo. The film features the music of Peruvian recording artist Artur Menas Salas.
As interest in ayahuasca grows, so does the question of how to explain this mysterious phenomenon to the uninitiated seeker. Filmmaker Michael Wiese's latest documentary, meets this challenge with remarkable grace. In mind-bending portraits of jaguar-skinned shamans enshrouded by seeing-eye vines, the spiritual alchemy between man and nature that takes place in the ayahuasca realms is magically revealed. These enchanting interviews with Amaringo, recorded only months before his untimely death, are among the film's brightest highlights a deeply introspective story of healing and discovery. --Stephen Thomas, RealitySandwich.com
I enjoyed seeing and hearing Don Jose at work and seeing Pablo and his beautiful work. The film is a good introduction to that whole world. It does a good job putting the world of ayahuasca shamanism on the table. --Jeremy Narby, PhD, author of The Cosmic Serpent: DNA and the Origins of Knowledge
This is a gem of a movie contemplatively paced, beautifully photographed, and filled with insights into the practice of ayahuasca shamanism in the Upper Amazon. The interviews with shaman Jose Campos, visionary artist Pablo Amaringo the last before his death and phytochemist Julio Arce Hidalgo provide a solid grounding for the story of the filmmaker's own quest for healing and understanding. Poignant and moving, the film is enriched with an evocative soundtrack by Peruvian recording artist Artur Menas Salas. --Steve Beyer, author Singing to the Plants