As he nears old age, a New York City artist decides to revisit the adventures of his youth in distant lands. In the 1950s, while on an art fellowship, Tobias Schneebaum walked alone and unguided into the Peruvian Amazon rainforest to make first contact with some Indian headhunters. He shed his clothes and old ways and went native with them. But after his clan raided a neighboring tribe, murdered the villagers, and then ate their enemies in a victory feast — and he ate too, he decided to return. Later he ended up collecting the art of headhunters in New Guinea, where he lived with another tribe who were also cannibalistic, and subsequently fell in love with, and become partners with, one of the hunters. Forty years later he is persuaded, despite having an artificial hip, to leave his now well-worn routines in NYC to see if he can find the tribesmen in the Amazon and New Guinea again. He gets them to talk about their former eating habits. This is a complex weave of the weirdness of nostalgia, the subtleties of cross cultural communication, and the attraction of Otherness.
Keep the River on Your Right: A Modern Cannibal Tale
Directed by David Shapiro II, Laurie Shapiro
2000, 94 min.
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