The world has long been fascinated with the Amahuaca people who live in a remote area of the Peruvian Amazon. In the early 1960s, Anthropologists Robert Carneiro and Gertrude Dole from the American Museum of Natural History, the photographer Cornell Capa and a writer Matthew Huxley all visited the Amahuaca in the first evangelical mission established for Amahuaca people. Amahuaca people’s move into the mission initiated a dramatic decades-long transition from living in small isolated villages to permanent communities where they attend school, participate in church services and organize around new leaders. This moment was captured in the book, ‘Farewell to Eden,’ published in 1964, which predicted the Amahuaca would disappear in the face of increasing contact with the outside world.
Yet in 2015, the Amahuaca created their own Indigenous Cultural Heritage Center and formed a new indigenous political federation to defend themselves against outside threats and fight for better education and healthcare. ‘Amahuaca Siempre’ follows three generations of Amahuaca as they reflect on the past, navigate the complexities of life in modernizing Amazonia and fight for a sustainable future. Drawing on archival materials and footage of Amahuaca people’s ongoing struggles, the film explores themes of memory, transformation, cultural heritage, and collective resilience — issues that many indigenous peoples grapple with today.
The film was produced with the generous funding of the Wenner-Gren Foundation along with many individuals who provided support through a fundraising campaign.
2019 - "Le Soleil Tournant" Prize for Best Full-Length Documentary - 11th Peruvian Film Festival of Paris
2019 - Premio al mejor documental, "Le Soleil Tournant" en la categoría de largometraje documenta - 11 Festival de Cine Peruano en Paris, Francia
2018 - "Top Prize for Works of Historical Memory" and Festival Opening Film - 13th International Film and Communication Festival of Indigenous Peoples/Originals - FICMAYAB, Guatamala
2018 - "Premio Mejor Obra Memoria Histórica" - XIII Festival Internacional de Cine y Comunicación de Pueblos Indígenas / Originales - FICMAYAB, Guatemala