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Secrets of the Tribe (2010)

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The field of anthropology goes under the magnifying glass in this fiery investigation of the seminal research on Yanomami Indians. In the 1960s and '70s, a steady stream of anthropologists ... See full summary »


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Credited cast:
Robert Borofsky ...
Jesus Cardozo ...
Napoleon A. Chagnon ...
Marie Isabel Eguillor ...
Brian Ferguson ...
Kenneth Good ...
Paul R. Gross ...
Raymond Hames ...
William Irons ...
Barbara Johnston ...
Ernesto Migliazza ...
Marie-Claude Mueller ...
Frank Salamone ...
Leslie Sponsel ...
Patrick Tierney ...


The field of anthropology goes under the magnifying glass in this fiery investigation of the seminal research on Yanomami Indians. In the 1960s and '70s, a steady stream of anthropologists filed into the Amazon Basin to observe this "virgin" society untouched by modern life. Thirty years later, the events surrounding this infiltration have become a scandalous tale of academic ethics and infighting. Written by Sundance Film Festival

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Tribal Warfare in the Academic Jungle






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Release Date:

22 January 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Segredos da Tribo  »

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User Reviews

Over the line?
2 March 2011 | by (Leesburg, FL) – See all my reviews

My knowledge of anthropology is limited to repeated watching of Bones, but I found this documentary to be extremely interesting.

The fact that there is such disagreement among anthropologists makes it difficult to consider that they are truly scientists. It's somewhat akin to Psychology, where there are several right answers to every question.

What was most amazing, however, was the actions of some of these scientists while they were out in the field. Studying a people is one thing, but apparently some are not content to do just that and started making changes in their lives. There were indications of pedophilia and even prostitution was introduced in some villages.

The value of this film lies not in the anthropological facts, which are quite interesting, but in the discussion of behavior of anthropologists that went clearly over the line.

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