6.8/10
744
15 user 29 critic

Keep the River on Your Right: A Modern Cannibal Tale (2000)

A retired gay anthropologist revisits the native cultures he studied in his youth.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Tobias Schneebaum ...
Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Himself
Michael Nelson Rockefeller ...
Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

In 1955, while a Fulbright scholar, a Manhattan painter named Tobias Schneebaum spent seven months in the Amazon basin with the Harakambut. When he returned to the US, he could no longer paint. What happened? Nearly 45 years later, filmmakers want Tobias, now 78 and suffering from Parkinson's, to return to Peru. He refuses but allows that he will revisit the Asmat in New Guinea where he spent an idyllic time years before. That trip goes well, including a serendipitous meeting with Aipit, an aging native and once Tobias' friend and lover. Tobias then agrees to go to Peru to look for the people whom he joined on a murderous raiding party. The scars of war remain as does fear. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for depiction of mature thematic material

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Release Date:

15 April 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Once I Was a Cannibal  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$12,623 (USA) (30 March 2001)

Gross:

$348,507 (USA) (24 August 2001)
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Connections

Features Charlie Rose (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An inspiring film with a deceiving title
1 June 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As so many that come across this film, I was intrigued with the subtitle "A Modern Cannibal Tale." Unlike a lot of those who write their reviews angered that cannibalism is not the primary focus of the documentary, I was still enthralled. "Keep the River On Your Right" is not unlike the inspirational journeys of "The Human Experience" or even "Into the Wild." That the doc follows the man who lived these experiences decades later as he revisits the primitive locales only further underlines the profound impacts his travels had on his life and makes the contrast even more stark.

If you're a teenager expecting a snuff film, then yes, you will be disappointed. Even more so if you're inclined to turn your nose up at homosexuality or same-sex relationships. You'll be disappointed and most likely you will write your scathing review on Netflix or IMDb about how you have no interest in watching a movie about an "old gay guy." Those that are open enough to listen to Tobias Schneebaum's recollections and personal discoveries will find themselves pondering whether current society or the primitive savages are more barabaric in existence and practices. Much can be learned about ourselves if we take the opportunity to learn from those different from us. That theory proved true for Schneebaum in his travels. Give the film a chance with a corrected idea of what to expect going in and it will prove true for you as well.


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