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.

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

5 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »




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


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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for depiction of mature thematic material

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

15 April 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Once I Was a Cannibal  »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,623, 1 April 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$348,507, 26 August 2001
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs



See  »

Did You Know?


Features Trader Horn (1931) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

28 December 2002 | by See all my reviews

Schneebaum is a very charismatic man and to me the adventurous young anthropologist who headed into the jungles of Peru and Papua, New Guinea had much more huevos than most. And reducing him to the gay, feminine, non aggressive catagory,as being the only way he could be accepted into the tribe is just pure horse sh**. It only brings about the pure ignorance of what most people think 'gay' is...If Schneebaum wanted to prove that to be left to their natural inklings a tribe would run the gambit of sexual desires and he participated in the homosexual rite's does not mean that homosexuality was not there... and the most the other anthropologist's could come up with was; "he didn't keep a therapeutic distance" from the people he was studying.

It was in the Amazon Valley that something happened to Tobias, was it the raid on the other village and the killing of that tribe, or was it the eating of human flesh, had he almost gone over the brink. He was a painter until that experience and after, he never painted again. As far as the cannibal part, and why he did it, who knows as Tobias cannot come up with a logical answer, and as far as judging him for doing it, one must face his own demons in a situation that brought him to the brink. Had he gone to far,did the jungle cast him out?

It is a strange movie, but, although the subject matter is off the scale, it was entertaining. And one must give Tobias a nod for having the fortitude to go back and face his demons, and stare them down. I'm sure most people would not think that a "gay" thing to do. 8/10

9 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 15 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial