Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Tribe That Hides from Man (1970)

Director: Adrian Cowell

Starring: Adrian Cowell, Michael Flanders, Orlando Villas Boas, Claudio Villas Boas

More info: IMDb &

Plot: The search for the Kreen Akrore tribe, in the Amazon jungles of Brazil, led by Orlando and Claudio Villas Boas, who have devoted the last twenty-five years to working for and amongst Indians. The purpose of the expedition was to locate the tribe and bring it gently into contact with the modern world.

My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

I was captivated from the first few seconds of the picture simply through the music.  It's wild.  After a couple of minutes I was hooked and stayed for the duration.  It's about an hour long and it was fascinating all the way through.  It's an interesting journey, following Claudio (and later his brother, Orlando, joins him) and his large exploration team of mostly natives of the surrounding areas.  Along the way we learn about his experiences in the jungles of South America, working with tribes to acclimate them into the outside world.  He's there to help them before it's too late.  Since diamonds were discovered in the Brazilian jungle, the indigenous peoples have been getting into clashes with outsiders that are sometimes resulting in massacres.


As we get closer and closer to finding the violent tribe of the Kreen Akrore, we, as they do, learn about their ways.  Claudio and pals offer lots of gifts (never directly but leaving them for the Kreen Akrore to find) in an effort to get them to accept these outsiders more easily.  They leave axes and machetes (they don't have metal and use rock hatchets instead) and the tribe begins to leave gifts of clubs in return.  When the monsoon season starts it's raining daily and their ability to continue tracking this nomadic tribe stops...for months.  The picture ends with them starting their search anew.

"The Hovitos are near. The poison is still fresh...three days."

It was a real bummer not getting to see this elusive tribe but for a few seconds through the dense jungle here and there.  I was disappointed but then I'd rather see this ending than the picture not being made at all.  I love the ambient sound of the jungle and the rawness of the documentary film quality.  I'm talking myself into keeping this to watch again.  Maybe the next time I'll watch it outside one hot Summer night (I built a giant movie screen in my backyard to get that drive-in effect) and rough it in my lounge chair, stripped of clothing, leisurely clinging onto a mint julep or something exotic to get the full effect.  I suppose I'll have to leave the bug spray inside.  I could put a leopard costume on my Chihuahua.

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