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Action, Adventure, Drama......who could ask for anything more?
pachl28 May 2005
Have you ever seen a movie you thought was great, but couldn't even remember its name a month later? This is one movie you will never forget.

I have heard it said that the true test of a movie, or any art form, is whether it accomplishes what it set out to do. Did it inform you, delight you, anger you, scare you, or make you laugh? Besides presenting a very entertaining and original storyline, this movie wants you to care about the environment. After seeing The Emerald Forest, I immediately called one of the major environmental organizations (I don't want to play favorites, but it's one of these: The Nature Conservancy, WWF, Greenpeace, The Sierra Club...) to set up automatic monthly contributions. I never expected a movie to have so great an impact on me, especially such a long lasting one. You would expect that, after time, my enthusiasm would diminish, especially since I have no interest in ever visiting the Amazon! None whatsoever. However, this movie really changed my perspective on the global environment as a whole.

The central character is Tomme (Charlie Boorman). While watching his father direct the construction of a huge dam, Tomme is quickly and silently taken away by a native Brazilian Indian tribe called the Invisibles. They don't see their actions as kidnapping. When they see the young boy, they figure he would be better off with them, rather than with the "termite people", the name they give to the white men who seem to devour all the trees.

Tomme's father spends the next 10 years trying to find him.

This is definitely a thought-provoking movie, but one that is not too heavy handed. It's one of the most entertaining movies I have ever seen, the type of movie you can watch over and over.

Update: Since I had not seen this movie for many years, I decided to see it again last night. I was totally blown away. It was even better than I remembered. Although my original 9-star rating is very high praise, I can't fathom how I could have enjoyed the movie more, so I raised my rating from 9 stars to 10 stars. Director John Boorman also directed Beyond Rangoon, and some other films that are amazingly good.

Charley Boorman's performance is simply brilliant. I can't imagine anyone better in the role of Tomme in The Emerald Forest. I am definitely going to start watching the other movies he has made.
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arjun-67 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this movie years ago as a 13 year old and I can say without exaggeration that no other movie has had such a strong and lasting impact on me. While I was aware of the sacrilege going on in the Amazon, this opened my eyes to it like never before. Shortly after this I ran away from home with a friend, with the intention of going to Brazil, mobilising the Indians into a guerrilla band and killing the loggers. It took our families all of two days to track us down at a port city : )

But I never forgot the lesson this movie taught me and today I work for a conservation organisation. Some of the Indian quotes from the movie are truly tear jerkers. "When we were young the end of the world(the limits of the forest) was very far away, but it gets closer and closer each day" or something to that effect. As an idealistic kid I saw no flaw in this movie and cheered at the improbable climax where the rains destroy the dam and the captured Indian women throw away their cheap clothes and return to the forest. This movie is a must watch
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One of the most beautiful movies ever made!
Ed Miseta22 December 2010
The Emerald Forest is, without a doubt, one of my favorite movies of all time. I first saw it many years ago, but rediscovered it recently when it showed up on one of my Dish movie channels. The son of an engineer is kidnapped in the rain forest. The engineer (Powers Booth) discovers him years later, when he is a teenager. By then, the son is part of a tribe which has raised him and molded him into a man. He does not want to leave. However, the boy must find and request the help of his father when a rival tribe kills several male members of his tribe members and kidnaps their women. A great (true) story, wonderful acting, and amazing cinematography make this movie an amazing viewing experience. Think Apocalypto without all of the blood and violence. There is a good amount of female nudity. If you enjoy this movie, I also recommend Rapa Nui for it's great scenery and story.
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Excellent movie.
brasilbob17 April 2005
I actually grew up near the city of Belem, shown in the beginning of the movie, and spent 18 years in the region. I also spent time in many of the Indian tribes in the area, including being "adopted" into one at the age of five.

The movie does a great job of showing many aspects of life in the jungle, including some of the lawlessness. The costumes are fairly authentic, and portrayal of many tribal customs is well done. The manhood ceremony is closely based on authentic ceremonies that happen in most tribes.

Altogether, about as good as you can expect from something that is not intended to be a documentary.
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The best movie of Boorman
grandisdavid29 July 2004
Certainly the best of Boorman. After seeing again Deliverance, which was thrilling when it was first released, and Excalibur, poetical, Wagnerian but a little bit out of date (regarding the shining 70's fake armors), Emerald Forest deepens philosophy and ethnology. Very profound and touching, very good acting, excellent photography, technically superb, there's nothing to really complain about. It hasn't aged at all and probably won't. I gave it a 10 because I do not see anything to improve. In our sad new era of ethnological destruction, where there's no place anymore for the Aborigene or any other tribal culture, this movie gives a little hope, a little reverie of seeing things turning in the right direction thanks to ancient magic. How vain but how beautiful!
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Exciting, eye-popping Hollywood entertainment
dave-sturm27 January 2009
This movie supposedly sends an environmental message, and that's certainly true, but if you look closely it's really a fig leaf (like one of those little flaps on a string that constitute the sole bit of clothing worn by the villagers) for an updated Tarzan movie.

That said, this movie is tremendous entertainment. It is exciting almost all the way through. And when it's slow, there are lots of cute teenage girls in the altogether to gaze at. In fact, there's a demographically striking abundance of teenage girls in this particular tribe.

Favorite scene: During the courtship ritual, Tomme is given a club and is supposed "knock out" his girl in front of the villagers and then carry her off into the forest. She cowers. He hesitates, waves the club around. She glares at him and whispers, "Do it right!" So he hits her and she makes a show of being "knocked out." The whole courtship ritual is beautifully staged. I cannot attest to its authenticity, but it's perfectly clear as he "defends" her from menacing dudes, refuses to be carried off by the other girls, etc. The sheer enthusiasm portrayed is remarkable.

Powers Boothe, playing a dam engineer, makes a dashing Trader Horn-type. He has a great scene when he wakes up in the village only to see his son, Tomme, sleeping peaceful and embracing his girl, both practically nude in the next hammock. The expressions that run across his face are priceless.

The Fierce People live up to their name, but I am dubious that people who live in nature can be so infected with violence.

I learned something. You can climb a high-rise by wrapping vines around your feet. Who knew? The dam business at the end was totally righteous, but, really, pretty preposterous.

And how about that shot of the eagle in flight. Taken from about two feet away. Pretty neat.

Terrific Hollywood movie? You bet. Werner Herzog? Not so much.
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A Rich Tapestry Of A Film: Boorman's Best
nbwritersinbox4 September 2011
Remember the 80s? For some of us, that's now along time ago. I recall "green" issues becoming a hot topic, at least among the Intelligensia. With only 47 reviews, there's little evidence to suggest this film appeals to wider audiences. A sad indictment that green issues are still overlooked.

One of the better cinema releases made during that decade (when politics took a sharp turn right) was this technically masterful production. So, I'm surprised Emerald Forest only limps in with a 6.8 rating. I doubt films this well-made would get past the accountants in 2011.

Boorman's wonderful films include Excalibur and Deliverance. Here, deep in the Amazonian Jungle, he's at the top of his game. We have beautiful cinematography, gritty and memorable acting, a thundering plot that keeps us entertained throughout the movie.

Okay, there's the typical "Noble Savage" motif and a rather convenient conflict between two tribes (the Fierce People seemed over-simplistic). But it's a mainstream movie, so we cannot expect too much. At least Boorman attempted to research Amazonian Tribal Life, so this film does not suffer too much from ignorant stereotyping.

A feature of many Boorman Films is the focus on touching relationships. Here, we have two different kinds of "father-son" interaction, Tomme's real determined father and Tomme's wise, tribal one. There's also the Romeo & Juliet style interaction between Tomme and Kachiri (handled sensitively by Boorman). Other more complex relationships are also explored, such as interactions between different tribes, or the exploitative practices of some "western" visitors, whose treatment of the natives is less than fair.

The film's a rich tapestry. I still find it breathtaking viewing.
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Michael Bennett Cohn15 January 2001
Touching, well-paced, sad, uplifting, absorbing. Good acting, good writing. Lots of meaning, lots of symbolism, but never in your face, never tiring. Mystical stuff that's presented well and believably. A movie at once so ambitious and so real and so well-done...there just aren't very many in its league. Action, love, adventure, drama, striking images, succinct dialog. Amazing.
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One of the best eco-awareness pieces since "Silent Spring"
Not sure that you'll get a comment from anyone of my generation (the Depression-ridden 30's) about the Emerald Forest. But here goes, anyway...

I first became aware of the term "ecology" when I signed up for a masters-level college class of the same name in 1965. It was the first formalization of the study of ecology on the West Coast. I took it simply because I needed a natural science credit and all the other classes were full. The class changed my life, and my perspectives. I devoured Rachel Carson, and savored movies like Dances With Wolves and Medicine Man. I even joined Green Peace at the age of 32 and suspect that I am probably the only Republican in history that can make that claim.

I would vote that Emerald Forest is the best of all popular eco-message dramas. It is my all time favorite. It is so well done in every area...script, acting, photography, and re-enactment of tribal customs. At the same time, it delivers a powerful message that can only be dismissed by the most callous of personalities. Every time I see the movie I am filled with regret that I could never accomplish such a landmark cinematographic ecological statement.

I was also filled with the emotion to go to Brazil and blow away anyone with a chainsaw...
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Great exploration of man vs. the wild
Leofwine_draca13 January 2013
THE EMERALD FOREST sees John Boorman returning to the dark heart of the world's wildernesses in this story about native tribes living in the Amazon. Powers Boothe plays an engineer whose son is kidnapped by one such tribe, leading him on a ten-year search for answers.

The film works on a double level. First, it stands as a completely adequate action-adventure, with all manner of violent shoot-outs, especially a climactic showdown that brings back memories of hard-hitting '70s greats like ROLLING THUNDER. There's suspense a-plenty, along with strong turns from both Boothe and the director's son.

The film's storyline also allows Boorman to explore themes that are clearly close to his heart, namely the destruction of the Amazonian rainforest by greedy developers and loggers, who turn out to be the real villains of the piece. Yes, it sounds like it could be preachy but it never is, thanks to Boorman's skill at handling the material with subtlety and grace.

THE EMERALD FOREST is virtually unknown today - I caught it tucked away in a late-night showing - but it doesn't deserve to be; DELIVERANCE is the better known effort but this comes close at frequent intervals.
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An excellent adventure
Chris Gaskin1 May 2002
The Emerald Forest is an excellent jungle adventure which is based on a true story.

A young boy is kidnapped by a tribe in the Amazon known as the Invisible People. His dad (Powers Boothe) then spends 10 years searching for him and eventually succeeds, but only by chance. He decides to stay with the tribe rather than go back to his original family.

Boothe's son when grown up is played by the director's son, Charley Boorman and does a great job playing the part. This movie gives you an idea on what it would be like living in the Amazon. Excellent scenery makes the movie better still. It was shot on location in the Amazon.

I have seen this movie a couple of times and enjoyed very much. Watch it if you get the chance.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
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Beautiful and touching movie
Marlu6 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I have been after this movie for years. If you like learning about other cultures, predominantly Indian tribes, or if are an environmentalist or ecologist, you will love the movie. Also, any parent will feel for the main characters. It is truly touching how the family never gives up looking for their lost son, and risk everything for that cause. It is true that the ending is unexpected, but it shows the intentions of the father were to give up his dream to give his son and new life a chance to survive in the Amazon. There is light nudity for the children, but it is convincingly part of the story line. I will share this movie with my eleven year old environmentalist as soon as I can get it.
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A definite source Boorman used
wferri612 January 2012
A definite source for The Emerald Forest is the book, Wizard of the Upper Amazon, by F. Bruce Lamb. The story is a second hand account of Manuel Cordova's kidnapping when he was a teenager working for rubber cutters in the Amazon in the early 1900s. He was taken by a group of Indians to a very remote, primitive Indian village. These Indians were of a fierce independent disposition, and had fled into the interior because they refused to exist in the subservient situation imposed on them by the rubber barons of that time. Cordova was incorporated into their tribe and describes a life strikingly similar to the one depicted in The Emerald Forest. The similarities include the adversarial tribe, the reason The Invisible People moved further into the Jungle, and the tribal ceremony with the hallucinogenic.
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Breathtakingly beautiful film! A once in a lifetime experience
NateWatchesCoolMovies25 November 2011
Warning: Spoilers
John Boorman's The Emerald Forest is the kind of exotic, intoxicating, wildly adventurous, unbelievable and unforgettable film that comes along once in a decade, if that. These days this sort of film would be gilded to the hilt with unnecessary Cgi, a burden which filmmakers just can't seem to free themselves from in this age. Back in 1985, they had to use what they had, filling every frame with on-location authenticity, genuine realism which prompts a feeling of wonder and sense of mysticism from the viewer, which any computer generated effort just cannot compete with (I will concede that this year's The Jungle Book came up aces, so there are a few cutting edge exceptions). This film is quite the undertaking for both cast and crew, and one can see from scene to scene the monumental effort and passion that went into bringing this story to life. It's also partly based on true events, adding to the resonance. Powers Boothe plays technical engineer Bill Markham, who is living with his wife (Meg Foster) and two small children in Brazil, while he designs plans for a great river dam which will allow further development. One day, on a picnic at the edge of the rainforest, his son Tommy disappears, after spotting an elusive tribe of Natives. Gone with no trace but an arrow lodged in a nearby tree, Bill launches a search for his son that spans a decade, returning year after year to probe the vast, untamed jungle in hopes of somehow finding Tommy. Tommy, now a young man and played by the director's son Charley Boorman, has been adopted and raised by the kindly tribe, known as 'The Invisible People' for they way they remain unseen as they move about their home in the forests. Tommy is very much one of them, taken up their customs and traditions, with nothing but vague memories of Bill in his dreams, which he doesn't believe to have actually happened. One day in the hostile territory of 'The Fierce People', Tommy and Bill are reunited, Tommy taking his wounded father to his home village. Bill is heartbroken that his son is essentially no longer his, conflicted by the situation. Tommy has just entered his life as a man, taking a gorgeous wife (Dira Paes) from his village and starting a future. Trouble brews as The Fierce People threaten Tommy's village, and their women, prompting him to seek Bill's help. It's interesting to see how a tribe who have had little to no contact with the outside world react to it, calling it 'the dead world' and referring to the developers as the Termite People who cut down the grandfather trees. The environmental message is never preachy, always feeling like a vital and important truth that is organic and unforced, emerging through the characters and their interactions. The Natives possess an innate spirituality and connection to the intangible which we have forgotten as progress alters us, still rooted deeply in forces beyond our 21st century comprehension. Boothe is deeply affecting in one of his best roles, a desperate father through and through, while also filling out the broad shoes of the wilderness adventurer he has become over the years. He fills his performance with pathos, longing and is the emotional soul of the piece. Boorman is spry and takes up the aura of Tommy well, mastering the complex linguistics and mannerisms of the tribe admirably. One of my favourite aspects of the film is its exquisite and moving score, the main theme evoking wild romanticism, old world secrets and the unending beauty of nature so well that one feels goosebumps as if we're really there in that setting. Pure cinematic magic, a timeless story told without flaw or hitch, and a breathtaking piece of film.
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beautiful and unusual - but take note of comments!
innatrance4 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This film is nice as a step out of the usual backgrounds or settings for movies. And whilst it is in the main part shot in rain forest, it is most certainly not boring in any way.

I notice there have been comments by others about certain mystical aspects in the film being too far fetched, but i can assure they are not. Following this, it is quite understandable that if someone watches this and has a limited understanding of reality and the mind - they may find certain aspects of the film slightly frustrating and/or overly convenient to be true. An example here is the art of merging with spirits who take on certain archetypal forms, such as an eagle or leopard. These are very ancient shamanic methods used to attain knowledge, power and healing abilities and are not a crazy load of made up stuff by the director. I have personally had many similar experiences to some in the film - example: once some way through a year long shamanic training, i lay on my bed and merged with a spirit and found myself as the form of an eagle (as was usual with this spirit). I had asked the spirit to take me to a gorgeous girl i had met in London a few weeks before, as i regretted never asking for her phone number after having to rush for a train. I found myself flying above London and eventually landed in leicester square where the spirit told me i should go. I finished the journey, left my house, got on the train and went to leicester square. The first person i talked to (a guy doing the charity stuff on the street) turned out to be one of the flat-mates of the girl! Einstein said 'co-incidences are God's way of remaining anonymous'. The point of this story is that the mystical stuff in Emerald Forest is factual. And it is not confined to rainforests, but in fact can be and is used in modern cities - ha ha and not just to save tribes but sometimes God willing to get girlfriends! Then also the idea that sickness (in the films case, a severe fever from enemy tribal poison), can be sucked out of someone in it's elemental energetic form- this is also ancient practise which traditionally one is merging with a helpful spirit to gain powerful protection beforehand - as is demonstrated in the film. All the mystical stuff is indeed actually down to earth, factual and to be embraced.

And this is one particular thing which brings beautiful harmony to The Enchanted Forest - it is not just down to earth because of it's setting, because of good actors and acting or because of a good story - but because it has not been afraid to remain true to another part of life, inherent in the films settings and culture. That which perhaps seems overly mystical to the average western mind. For me it seemed nothing had been left out of the film, as often is the case in order to meet the wishes of studios, who only care about their profit and not the wealth of the film itself as a branch of art.

Bear in mind that the whole film is based on a true story and really how can you go wrong? Adventurous, beautiful scenery, good acting, good characters, based on true story, unusual spiritual elements, emotional and action plus a good eco message leaving you wishing the whole world would watch it.

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A very good adventure film filled with vibrant colors, scenery and awesome action sequences
Ed-Shullivan19 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
WARNING: This review may include spoilers Although this film may have been based on a true story, the actual account is not as the movie producers have chosen to depict their story line. I enjoyed the film simply because the beginning of the story, as well as the end of the story are factual, and the flow of the movies storyline will keep the audience's attention. A 10 year old boy named Tommy was taken away from his family at the edge of the forest where his father was working and raised by an Amazon tribe. Ten years would past before father and son are eventually re-united and the young innocent child is now a fully grown man and an experienced tribesman of the Amazon forest.

What I enjoyed about the film was how the young child named Tommy was transformed in to tribesman and hunter Tomm"e" (after a ten year elapsed time is noted) grew in to a man and accepted his new life by the Amazon tribe who abducted him. When Tomme's father continues to build a bridge over the next several years so that heavy industrial equipment can cross the river and strip away the rain forest trees, the story takes on a different message. It is now a fight between the Amazon tribesman who are witnessing their land being stripped away by the white man and his heavy machinery to build this monster bridge, and a father's perseverance to find his lost son Tommy and bring him home to his mother.

Excellent performances are noted as the actors playing the adult Tomme (Charley Boorman), Tomme's father Bill Markham (Powers Boothe), Jean Markham (Meg Foster) and Tomes' love interest tribeswoman Kachiri (Dira Paes). I found the scenery and interaction amongst the various Amazon tribes provided the audience with some insight as to how the Amazon tribes fought, protected, lived and even forged for food. John Boorman is an accomplished film maker both as a producer and director whose body of work also includes other highly acclaimed films such as Deliverance (1972) and the Tailor of Panama (2001).

The Emerald Forest is an action/adventure story based on some real events which I mentioned earlier. If you can accept the film as nothing more than an opportunity to escape reality for two hours and vision yourself trying to survive in the dense Amazon forest than I believe you will enjoy director John Boorman's visionary story. Get yourself a good drink and some snacks, sit back and escape to The Emerald Forest. I give the film a strong 8 out of 10 rating.
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Interesting look at the lifestyle of an Amazon tribe in the vanishing jungle where a boy is taken by primitive men
ma-cortes23 November 2012
Ecological thriller that has in highlighting the destruction of the South American rain woods ; being based upon a real story and filmmaker John Boorman cast his own son , Charley Boorman , in the starring character . Bill Markham(Powers Boothe) moves his family to Brazil where has a job as an engineer in construction a dam project . After the son (Charley Boorman) of engineer is abducted by an aboriginal tribe on the edge of the rain forest, the engineer and his wife (Meg Foster) spend the next 10 years searching for him . Ultimately Markham is captured by a cannibal and bloodthirsty tribe and ironically rescued by "Tomme," who only has dim memories of his biological dad . The teenager spends the next years living under jungle law and integrating an alternative lifestyle . Finally , the father discovering a happily adjusted boy who may not want to go back to so-called civilization . Although Bill wants desperately to have his son accompany him back to civilization, "Tomme's" loyalties now belong to "The Invisible People." The rain forest of the Amazon are disappearing at the rate of 5000 acres day . Four million Indians once lives there , 120.000 remain.

An ecological adventure with mystical touches that was ahead of its time in denounce about forest destruction . This exciting film contains thrills , emotion , adventure and action scenes of infighting between violent rival tribes that generate a lot of entertainment . Inspired by an uncredited story about a Peruvian whose son disappeared under similar circumstances . According to director John Boorman's book 'Money Into Light', his initial choice for the part of Tomme was C. Thomas Howell. When he was unavailable, John decided to use his own son Charley for the part. He plays a boy grabbed by tribesmen whose community is facing disappearance because of the building of a massive dam designed and built by his daddy . Glamorous and lush cinematography by Philippe Rousselot who photographs wonderfully the Amazon jungle , obviously filmed under difficult conditions on location .

This engrossing and enjoyable film with interesting screenplay by Rosco Pallenberg was well directed by John Boorman . He's a good professional filmmaking from the 6os , though sparsely scattered and giving various classics . John started as an assistant direction and his friendship with Lee Marvin allowed him to work in Hollywood as ¨Point Blank¨ (1967) and ¨Hell in the Pacific¨ (1968) from where he returned to the UK and directed ¨Leo¨ (1970) , a rare Sci-Fi titled ¨Zardoz¨ (1974) or the ¨failure Exorcist II¨ (1977). His films are without exception among the most exciting visually in the modern cinema . He became famous for Excalibur (1981), the best of them , ¨Emerald forest¨ (1985) with a ecologist denounce included and his autobiographic story ¨Hope and Glory¨ (1987) and which brought him another Academy Award Nomination after ¨Deliverance¨ . Rating ¨Emerald forest¨: Better than average . Wholesome watching .
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Tushar/Chase's Movie Review
Chase Fitzgerald9 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
The movie the Emerald Forest was a fictional story that was based on a true story. Boorman based his movie of a article that appeared in the Los Angeles Time in the early 1980's which talked about a father whose son was abducted by native tribes and rediscovered ten years later. This may be a true story although there are critics out there who claim that the man made up the story because he wanted attention. The Emerald Forest was a very good film. The Emerald Forest was the first film to bring up the issue of the destruction of the Amazon. The locations are picturesque and Boorman is able to capture the cultural authenticity of the native tribes of the Amazon. What really surprised me was that Boorman did not use actors but went deep into the jungles of Brazil to find real natives to give his a film an authentic feel. This was especially true regarding the Invisible People who Boorman portrayed as a mysterious and elusive tribe which is demonstrated when they are camouflaged in the jungle and manage to stroke Tommy's face with a feather undetected by his family who are only a few feet a away from the Invisible People. That being said although Boorman did capture the authenticity of the native tribes and address the issue of deforestation the storyline was a little dull and cliché. This movie contains all the clichés that other movies have where a white man meets the natives. The first major cliché we can see in the movie is when the white men come they bring with them guns and alcohol and of course they exploit the natives. Another cliché is that as the white men come and development and progress disturbs the native's way of living as well as destroy the rainforest. The final cliché which we see in a lot of movies where natives play a predominant role is that the native lifestyle is portrayed as a sanctuary that sin has never entered. I still believe the film was good and I understand for the most part that is really what happens but Boorman could have made the film a bit more interesting and different and still portray his message. The preservation of the rainforest can easily be identified as the overriding and most obvious theme portrayed in this movie. The concern for maintaining the rainforest is demonstrated through the presumed wisdom we are called to see in the American Indian elders, however; Bill Markham is blind to this wisdom until the end of the movie. A few statistics are also thrown around in the movie concerning the role the Amazon plays in the world and how the white man is destroying it all by bringing industry to the area. The statistics are thrown around in a subtle way for Markham to realize the implications and damage he has caused by building the damn, showing them as being far greater and vaster than he had expected. It was powerful to hear the reporter say that 40 percent of the world's oxygen supply is generated by the rain forests and watch Markham dismiss him because of his ignorance to the real issue. Also, the movie goes on to assert that 5,000 acres of Amazonian rainforest is disappearing every day. This is actually generous. Once Markham realizes the vastness of the problem, the tables had already been turned on him. He too is kidnapped and is rescued by his son "Tomme". This scene was powerful because it shows that the boy had actually become loyal to his kidnappers and what they stand for, not the white man plight for development and industrialization. Through all of Bill's begging and pleading, he wouldn't return back to civilization with his biological father. What does it reveal to his Bill? He finally understands the destruction of life he had contributed to over the past 10 years and tries to undo his wrong by letting a violent thunderstorm destroy the dam they built.
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A Fictional Ecological Adventure
Claudio Carvalho28 May 2012
The American engineer Bill Markham (Powers Boothe) moves with his wife Jean Markham (Meg Foster) and children to Amazonas to work in the construction of a dam. When he brings his son Tommy to the site forest, the boy is abducted by the tribe of the Invisible People and brought to rain forest. Bill spends ten years seeking out Tommy in the forest. When he finally meets Tommy, he is an Indian and does not want to leave his tribe and return to the civilization. But when Tommy's mate Kachiri (Dira Paes) and the women of his tribe are kidnapped by a gang of white slaves to work in a brothel in the forest, Tommy searches Bill in the big city to help his tribe to rescue the female Indians.

"The Emerald Forest" is a fictional ecological adventure by John Boorman. The plot is entertaining and it is laughable to read absurd such as "based on a true story". The Brazilian Indians have been burying their dead for centuries as part of the work of the missionaries. The habit of burning and eating the ashes is before the arrival of the missionaries. The destruction of the forest is a reality provoked by farmers and overseas companies with economical interest in our wood. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "A Floresta das Esmeraldas" ("The Emerald Forest")
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Excellent Adventure Story, Except For Dumb Ending
ccthemovieman-123 June 2006
This is a very entertaining adventure story, marred only by a stupid voodoo ending. The story grabs you almost from the very start as a young boy, son of Americans, is whisked away from his parents by Amazon rain forest natives.

Ten years later, the kid - now being a teenager - is discovered by his father who had never stopped searching for him. During that search, and afterward, we are witness to numerous action scenes, really nice jungle photography and just a fascinating story.

The cinematography, involving story, no profanity and just plain good adventure all make this movie an entertaining one. Just ignore what's put at the end, which is insult to anyone of any intelligence but Hollywood can't stop giving credence to any Indian mythologies and superstitions.
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Mango Breakfast Club
tedg11 August 2008
I like to watch in pairs, and this was paired with Herzog's "Green Ants Dream."

The central character here is a teen, played by the director's son, who is kidnapped by Amazonian Indians at six and raised in nature. There are threats, adventures, encounters with "civilization." They provide the focus of the energy in this thing. Its all about that energy which we take from the juice of adolescence, perceive as the energy of an action movie and conflate (as we are intended to) with the natural richness of the rainforest.

Its a simple trick, but by gosh it works. Why is not a mystery: the teen drive is transformed into something pure here, done so by the actresses who play the teen Indian girls, lovely, and effectively nude. In order to underscore the point, the plot has them (importantly, as a group) kidnapped into civilization as a the complement of the original kidnapping. But the purpose here is prostitution.

When someone knows what they are doing and delivers the goods, its always a remarkable thing. The narrative engineering conveys the lack of engineering, and makes us desire the purity of encountering things without artifice.

Conveying this notion is then mixed with a completely unrelated message about the destruction of the rainforest and its central importance to the global ecology. Its rather dishonest, this, but because its such a noble cause we let it slip. But its a shame. In their defense, the acknowledge that just being native doesn't endow goodness: there is an "evil" tribe. Part of the tragedy is not shown: natives everywhere in the world aggressively damage the environment as much as their capabilities allow.

The perfect delicacy of this puts "Apocalypto" to shame.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
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strongnfemale19 June 2007
Are you serious? The customs are based LOOSELY on real customs to become some bastardized mish-mash. The director went and lived for a short while with the Xingu tribe in the amazon. What does that mean? It means he saw them through the eyes of an outsider not as someone part of the culture. All what you see is his interpretation of what Xingu culture is: the taking of hallucinogens, marriage, women's dances, jagua painting and others. This does not even come close to true Xingu culture. (Btw I love how the tribes were really good African and modern dancers.) This is just the magical-childlike-Indian stereotype set in the Amazon.
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They meant well, but...
kaear6 December 2004
The Emerald Forest is a racist, oversimplification of a more complex issue. The portrayal of Native Americans is a joke and perpetuates stereotype after stereotype of native "innocence" vs. Western "intelligence". The portrayal of the Fierce People as cannibalistic baboons is ridiculous and highly offensive - especially under the claim that the film is based on true events. Equally as unfortunate is the display of the Invisible People as a tribe of purity and peace - their "beautiful" innocence makes them the pathetic victim of Western expansion. Obviously, this movie addresses an important topic, but their are better ways to make the argument against deforestation and genocide. This movie is best used as a metaphor for understanding of the story of Adam and Eve and Christian morality. Outrageously bad acting to top it off - it's good for a laugh.
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Waste of time
tatsii14 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The plot is about a father who is trying to find his son from the jungle where a group of Indians captured the boy when he was just a child. The movie depicts very unconvincingly the life of this isolated Indian tribe with which the boy grows up. In the same time the western world is destroying the nearby jungles - cutting off trees and building a big dam.

The story is quite uninteresting and the acting is mediocre at best, horrible at worst. The viewer doesn't relate with the characters at all. There is also a pro-environmental point of view in the movie, but it is left under all kinds of corny non-sense.

There are million ways this movie could have been better: the relationship of the son and the father could have been depicted more and better, or the movie could have concentrated more clearly on the environmental issues. But all that we remember after seeing this two-hour-long movie is some imaginary Indian tribe (in which all the women seem to be young and beautiful girls) taking hallucinogens and speaking their mumbo jumbo language. If I was Native American, I'd be insulted.

The only reason that I watched this movie was because it got good reviews in the local newspaper (this is something I am very disappointed in) and it seems to have gotten quite a good average rating in also (which is unbelievable). It's not the worst movie in the history of cinema, but even with just a little better script, directing and acting it would have been much more enjoyable flick.
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The Best Film I have ever seen and it will never be topped
chris-ft26 August 2008
This is an amazing movie about a father dedicated to finding his son who has been abducted by native Americans in south America. My mother stumbled across it some time ago and recorded it for me claiming she had watched it over a decade ago and it stuck with her since. I watched it with my girlfriend and we were both amazed by the film! I would not normally expect much from an old film but this one had everything. The scenery was amazing, the acting was excellent and the plot keeps your heart racing. The abducted kid grows to become one of the natives and embarks on an amazing adventure following his fathers 10 year search for him. It brings you deep into the amazon rainforest as you learn about the life of 'the invisible people' tribesmen and their conflict with another terryfing tribe. I cannot understand how this film has such a low rating nor the fact that it is not well known. If you stumble across it be sure to watch because in my opinion this is the greatest film ever made!!
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