Ayahuasca Films


For those who wish to have access to the contemporary film production on ayahuasca, here are 10 of the most interesting films on the subject. This list was compiled with the help of our friends in the scientific community. Of course, any selection is inherently limited; this list is meant only as a reference. Please note that we are engaged only in the empirical use of ayahuasca, its rituals, and traditions; this section is geared towards those who feel they need access to this kind of knowledge.

Soldiers of the Vine

In the Summer of 2016 a group of American Veterans suffering severe PTSD took an international journey of healing together with a shared dream of ending the 22-60 Veteran suicides that happen every day.

SOLDIERS OF THE VINE: Healing War Trauma with Plant Medicine is a film and potential cable series which explores healing modalities either banned or unknown to the VA system: Ayahuasca, Ibogaine, 5meoDMT and Cannabis.

The core team of Veterans are a group of emerging natural healing activists who have been featured on CNN, VICE, CBS News, and dozens of local media outlets.

Directed by: Charles Shaw
Runtime: 66 min
Format: Long Documentary Film
Languages: English
Year: 2016
Country: USA

Watch trailer here

El ABRAZO DE LA SERPIENTE

Karamakate, once a powerful Amazonian shaman, is the last survivor of his people and lives now in voluntary isolation in the depths of the jungle. Years of solitude left him empty, devoid of emotions and memories. His life turns around when he’s visited in his hideout by Evan, an american ethnobotanist searching for Yakruna, a powerful plant that can teach men to dream. The shaman decides to guide the foreigner through his quest, and together they start a journey to the heart of the jungle, where past, present and future interweave, allowing them to recover their memories. These remembrances bring on a great pain that won’t set Karamakate free until he transmits the ancestral knowledge that seemed bound to be lost forever.

Directed by: Ciro Guerra
Runtime: 125 min
Format: Long Feature Film
Language: Spanish
Year: 2015
Country: Colombia / Venezuela / Argentina

Watch trailer here

ICAROS

Icaros explores the deep spiritual universe of the Shipibo indigenous people who live by the Ucayali river, one of the main tributaries in the Peruvian Amazon. Young Mokan Rono starts a fascinating journey into the ancestral knowledge of Ayahuasca, guided by a wise shaman and his mother, grand master healer.

Directed by: Georgina Barreiro
Runtime: 70 min
Format: Long Documentary Film
Language: Shipibo
Year: 2014
Country: Argentina / Perú

Watch trailer here

THE MIRROR OF THE SPIRIT

“João Meirinhos created a compelling and sublime documentary that reaffirms the power of the world’s greatest traditional medicine, ayahuasca. Assembling an impressive cast of traditional practitioners, aficionados and western converts, ‘Mirror of the Spirit’ bubbles like the brew itself to reveal the essence of the ayahuasca experience. And, like the ayahuasca vine, it entwines the viewer with an authentic and compelling message that is hard to resist. Grounded in strong ethnographic roots, ‘Mirror of the Spirit’ captures the spirit of this eclectic mix of contributors all of whom have been transformed by the power of the medicine in a myriad different ways. Once again we are reminded that the message of ayahuasca is more relevant today than at any point in our history.” Gavin Searle

Directed by: João Meirinhos
Runtime: 86 min
Format: Long Documentary Film
Languages: English / Spanish
Year: 2014
Country: Spain

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AYAHUASCA

Three intrepid travelers are taken a sit into an air plain towards to Iquitos, Peru, to find the magic of the sacred plant, Ayahuasca.

From the magical roots of the Peruvian jungle: Above the floating houses that swing through the wild Amazon river, inside the voracious nature that seems trying to swallow with that stunning green; We enter in a deep trip to “try to show with images that which cannot be shown”

The Spanish shaman, Tote Escobedo, with Daniel Tello, son of the mythical and known healer called Don Solón Tello, together, they will do a deep look about how tourism and economical interests have distorted an ancestral tradition and how, even nowadays, this holy plant, gives a sign of hope to the human race to connect deep inside the heart and human spirit.

Directed by: Fabiola Simonetti & Coto Cañas
Runtime: 51 min
Format: Long Documentary Film
Language: Spanish
Year: 2014
Country: Spain

Watch film here

THE JUNGLE PRESCRIPTION

The Jungle Prescription is the tale of two doctors treating their addicted patients with a mysterious Amazonian medicine rumored to reveal one’s deepest self. Dr. Gabor Maté has a revolutionary idea: to treat addicts with compassion. His work as the resident doctor in Vancouver’s Portland Hotel – a last-chance destination for lifelong drug abusers – has been courageous, but incredibly frustrating. Maté hears of an ancient medicine beyond his imaginings: one that could provide his patients with a solution. Its name is ayahuasca: the vine of the souls. Deep in the Amazon jungle, French doctor Jacques Mabit is using this medicine to treat hardcore addicts. Mabit runs a detox centre in the Amazon (Takiwasi or “The House That Sings”), using the plants and methods of traditional medicine. Ayahuasca is a visionary formula that unlocks emotional memory; causing life-changing catharsis in those who drink it. The reported success rates for curing addicts at Dr. Mabit’s detox centre are quadruple the average.

Directed by: Mark Ellam
Runtime: 46 min
Format: Long Documentary Film
Language: English
Year: 2011
Country: Canadá

Watch film here

AYAHUASCA: VINE OF THE SOUL

Ayahuasca Vine of the Soul is a documentary that explores the mystery of ayahuasca shamanism, offering insights into the nature of spirituality, mystical experience and self-healing through a heightened state of consciousness. Is ayahuasca a doorway to direct knowledge of the divine or a path that leads to psychological trauma? Can it cure modern addictions to drugs and alcohol or is ayahuasca itself a possible substance of abuse? Some people call it a medicine, others a sacrament; the Amazonian shamans say it is simply a ‘plant teacher’ that tells you what you need to know. Throughout the film, in-depth interviews with indigenous and Western curanderos, ethnobotanist Dennis McKenna, addiction expert Dr. Gabor Maté and scholar Kenneth Tupper speak to the increasing use of ayahuasca outside the Amazon and the potential benefits for Western medicine, personal spiritual growth and a new understanding of nature.

Directed by: Richard Meech
Runtime: 52 min
Format: Long Documentary Film
Language: English
Year: 2010
Country: Canada

Watch film here

D’AUTRES MONDES

A Journey into The Heart of Shipibo Shamanism.

“I could not communicate what had happened to me — all my reality was shattered. You know, you’re 35 years old and you build up an idea of the nature of reality through the information you have accepted from your culture. And suddenly you have an experience that you can’t deny that makes a big break through all your beliefs. You are lost in a realm where suddenly you have to consider – what is the nature of reality? I had a very hard time, actually. It was beautiful what I learned, it was a gift, but it was really hard, especially socially. I went back and had more ceremonies for two or three years. And then I started to make Other Worlds. I started to meet scientists who have a different view and who are still scientists — they are still people from our culture. And so I started to make bridges.” – Jan Kounen

Directed by: Jan Kounen
Runtime: 90 min
Format: Long Documentary Film
Language: French
Year: 2004
Country: France

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L’AYAHUASCA, LE SERPENT ET MOI

Paolo has been trying to get off drugs with an LSD treatment. Their adventure is both physical and psychological. Not all the local healers are commendable. The Amazonian forest hides drug traffickers and snakes in its midst and Ayahuasca, classified as a drug, turns its users into outlaws. Moreover, the use of ayahuasca has something of the nature of a painful quest into oneself: the plant throws the applicants into their own dark selves, where they can get lost. The images shot with an infrared camera (the sessions take place in the dark) show how totally involved they become: distorted faces and limbs, eyes rolled upwards, restless tongue movements.

Directed by: Armand Bernardi
Runtime: 52 min
Format: Long Documentary Film
Language: French
Year: 2004
Country: France

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JUNGLE TRIP

Lost in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon, there is a vine that is said to talk to humans, giving an understanding to the secrets of life. The custodians of this plant are the medicine men, or shamans. The divine does not give up its secrets easily.

It appears the botany of the plant is only half the story. To know it fully, you must experience its effects. Ever since he discovered the talking plants, studying human sciences at University, he has experienced with the hallucinogenic flora.

British plants are one thing, but in the Amazon they use Banisteriopsis caapi, or Ayahuasca, for their therapy and it’s a strong medicine. The bitter Ayahuasca brew first makes its drinker violently sick, but it’s in the fierce and often terrifying hallucinations that follow that the healing is said to lie.

But Ayahuasca doesn’t work on its own, rather it acts as a key to unlock the psychotropic qualities of another plant, and it’s this plant that Piers is after.

Directed by: Gavin Searle
Runtime: 50 min
Format: Long Documentary Film
Language: English
Year: 2001
Country: UK

Watch film here