Spirits of the Rainforest

92 minutes 8.5/10 based on 8 votes

This amazing 90-minute Discovery Channel feature documentary was written, co-edited and associate-produced by Kim MacQuarrie and narrated by Linda Hunt. SPIRITS OF THE RAINFOREST won two Emmy Awards, a Cine Golden Eagle, and awards at three Film Festivals.

The film takes you on a breath-taking journey into the heart of Peru’s remotest park called Manu National Park and Biosphere Reserve. This massive park is about the size of the State of Massachusetts. The film explores the work of three biologists who have dedicated their lives to studying Giant Otters, Squirrel Monkeys, and macaws. Also, meet Glenn Shepard Jr., an anthropologist who lives with and studies the Machiguenga Indigenous people. Join Shepard as he forms close ties with the tribe’s shaman, Mariano, and is introduced into the Machiguenga’s spirit world.

The Machiguengas once had contact with the Inca Empire. The Inca Empire reached the peak of its civilization around the 14th Century and it was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America. The Incas lived high in the Andes on mountain peaks that were up to 20,000 feet above sea level.

On the Eastern side of these very mountains, where the Andes mountain range meets the Amazon jungle, lies Manu National Park. This is the largest tropical rain forest reserve in the world. This park protects more species of animals, insects, and plants than any other place on earth. The most common mammals in the rainforest are bats, but there are at least thirteen species of monkeys.

The park is also the home of five ethnic indigenous tribes. These indigenous people hold the key to the future of this park. They are its real protectors and guardians. They do not take this responsibility lightly; even their gardening techniques imitate the life cycle of the forest.

The Machiguengas believe that the souls of shamans wander into the forest when the shaman dies. In the forest, these souls join the other spirits that are already there. Together they protect and keep the people and other living things safe.

The lifestyle of the Machiguengas is admirable. They live in absolute freedom: no debts, no crime, no rigid schedules, strong family ties, and happiness. Enjoy this film now.

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