Secrets of the Tribe

Direction
Year 
2010
Country
  • United Kingdom
  • Brazil
  • France
Duration
101min 
Audio Tracks 
Subtitles 

This is the story of the unhealthy meeting of two cultures: an indigenous tribe, the Yanomami and the western anthropologists who came to the Amazon to study them. Over three decades the Yanomami Indians were transformed from the “last Stone Age tribe” so prized by those anthropologists to the most exhaustively documented and filmed tribe on earth.

Napoleon Chagnon built his reputation – and sold over a million books – by claiming to demonstrate the innate ferocity of Yanomami. He dubbed them The Fierce People. In 1968 his biggest expedition and most famous film were both lavishly funded by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. He targeted world-famous geneticist Dr James Neel, who literally wanted their blood – he was on the lookout for a ‘virgin soil’ population and was keen to know how diseases spread through such populations. Coincidentally or otherwise, a serious and deadly outbreak of measles happened during their expedition, killing hundreds in its wake.

Chagnon friend and fellow anthropologist Jacques Lizot, was a young prodigy and favoured student of the godfather of cultural anthropology and French intellectual icon, Claude Levi-Strauss. Like practically all other anthropologists in the field, they both distributed gifts, in order to ease their way into a tribe’s affections. “Chagnon is the golden goose for the Yanomami. He brings steel tools, machetes, fishhooks and they tell him what they think he wants to hear.” Lizot’s gifts included shotguns, but his favours were not confined to the academic and his illegal sexual predations amongst the Yanomami were kept sated over years, funded by the Collège de France and Académie Française over decades.

A leaked email from two top anthropologists notes: “This nightmarish story – a real anthropological Heart Of Darkness is beyond the imagining of even a Josef Conrad – though not, perhaps, a Josef Mengele.”

This film is not currently online :(

But no worries. There are more just like it in our new programme.

Details

  • Original title
    Secrets of the Tribe
  • Direction
  • DOP
    Lula Carvalho, Reynaldo Zangrandi
  • Editing
    Felipe Lacerda, José Padilho, Bernardo Pimenta
  • Music
    João Nabuco
  • Sound
    Paul Rusnak
  • Duration
    101 min (91+ min.)
  • Year
    2010
  • Country
    • United Kingdom
    • Brazil
    • France
  • Colour
    • Colour
  • Distribution

DAFilms.com is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

Doc Alliance Members

Join to get regular updates on our film program:

By sending the registration for the Newsletter, I consent to receiving commercial communications through electronic means and to related personal data processing required for the purposes of sending the Newsletter of Doc-Air Distribution s.r.o. I confirm having read the Principles of Personal Data Processing, understanding the text and consenting to the same, while I acknowledge the rights specified herein, including, without limitation, the right to submit objections against direct marketing techniques.

Poslat svému Junioru

Zavřít