|Get lost! We don't want outside contact with your wars, diseases, and capitalism.|
|Top: Theodor Koch-Grünberg surrounded by Amazonia tribe, circa 1903. Bottom: "Embrace of the Serpent" character Theo (Jan Bijvoet) surrounded by Amazonia tribe, 2015 (pri.org).|
|Ethnobotanist Schultes, Amazon|
How this century-old photo inspired Colombia's 1st Oscar-nominated film
"In this moment, it is not possible for me to know, dear reader, if the infinite jungle has started on me the process that has taken many others that have ventured into these lands, to complete and irremediable insanity.
If this is the case, I can only apologize and ask for your understanding, for the display I witnessed in those enchanted hours was such, that I find it impossible to describe in a language that allows others to understand its beauty and splendor; all I know is that, like all those who have shed the thick veil that blinded them, when I came back to my senses, I had become another man.” — Theodor Koch-Grünberg, 1907
When Prieto's documentary plans fell through due to scheduling conflicts, he passed on his research to a trusted friend, Guerro.
Over the next three years, the two men followed Koch-Grünberg's footsteps up and down the Amazon's twisting banks, visiting sacred grounds, meeting with elders. and taking part in sacred rituals led by shamen. All in the name of research.