Amazon (1997)

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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 259 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 6 critic

Both Indian shaman Julio Mamani and ethnobotanist Dr. Mark Plotkin seek medicinal plants in the basin of the Amazon River.


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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Julio Mamani (voice)
Mark Plotkin ...
Sydney Possuelo ...
Adrian Villanueva ...
Julio Mamani


The Amazon is the biggest river on Earth. Only little of plant and animal life along its banks is known to man. And there are many secrets known to the tribe shamans of which we never heard. During a journey of one of those shamans down the river from one of its wells, who meets a western scientist traveling up the river from the sea, the audience experiences a huge variety of landscapes, animals (pink dolphins, for example), plants and people. Written by Julian Reischl <>

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Documentary | Short



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Release Date:

18 October 2006 (Sweden)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.44 : 1
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Did You Know?


Said the film's composer, Alan Williams, in a 2001 interview, the film originally had a narration for the end of the film. "One of the best phone calls I have received was from the dubbing stage of Amazon. The director called to say that they were dumping the narration for the last 3 minutes of the film and were just playing my music. That never happens with a feature." See more »

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User Reviews

amazing footage, terrible production
21 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Amazon basin and the mysterious Indian tribes that live within its rainforests are subjects that are very near and dear to me. I studied this a bit in college, and I'm always a sucker for a documentary that purports to have new footage of the Amazon interior.

I paid four bucks last night to watch "Amazon" via on-demand cable. It was a huge let-down.

Actually, the film footage was actually very impressive. There were the obligatory machu picchu shots, sure, but also some great shots of the "amazon jungle railroad" which I was thrilled to finally see, great shots of the enormous headwater canyons in Peru, and some crazy Indian tribe footage where they had what looked like four foot rafters embedded in their chins. Also there were piranha, white-handed gibbons, pink dolphins, and electric eels. Plus shots of the rain forest canopy, which is not something you see very often. The IMAX team simply got some amazing footage out of this. I can't rate it highly enough - I'm sure it wasn't easy to get either.

But the production! I can't believe that somebody didn't put their foot down, and fire the director. The music made me want to watch the thing on "mute". 90 minutes of Synth-Pan-Flute ensembles... ugggh. The story was both retarded and offensive. They tried to make the Medicine Man Indian into some kind of modern explorer or something, but he never had a single intelligent thing to say. The narrator was not the worst part, but she wasn't very good either.

I'm just really angry that such amazing footage was ruined by such a stupid script and then completely trashed by *constant* and extremely annoying background music.

I hope someday someone buys the rights to this film and repackages it into a good documentary.

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