Film Running Time: 52 Minutes
DVD extras: 48 Minutes
Total DVD: 100 Minutes
In the heart of the Amazon, a naturopathic doctor and an accountant experience life-altering epiphanies when they drink the psychoactive brew called ayahuasca, the "Vine of the Soul." Their dramatic encounters with the sacred medicine offer new 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 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 shamans, 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 modern medicine, personal spiritual growth and a new understanding of nature.
Experts: Dennis McKenna PhD, Gabor Maté MD, Kenneth Tupper PhD
Curanderos: Guillermo Arévalo, Dave (Ronin Niwe), Francois (Metsa Niwue)
Participants: Dr. Kirsten Smith ND, Rob Mader, Colin Miller, Nina Fields
Comments about the film:
"I had been looking forward to watching your film and my expectations were high but my experience with the film exceeded my expectations. It was so amazingly well done and put together. I'm so impressed on so many levels and just wanted to say thank you. It seems that information on ayahuasca so often misses the mark but your film nailed it. It's almost too good to be true but then so is the medicine. Bravo!" -- T.G., San Francisco, CA, USA
"I just finished watching your beautiful documentary. The way you presented the whole subject was thoughtful, respectful and kindhearted. i have been drinking for a year now and the insights I have been blessed to receive have enabled me to open my heart, drop old fears, think more clearly and transform my life. I have some very dear friends who i have not mentioned ayahuasca to because i was concerned they would not be able to accept it and consequently judge me. I will now show them your dvd and explain to them what i have been doing. I feel that your presentation of the subject will help me enormously in showing others the benign goodness of this work. I thank you very much." -- J.B., Perth, Western Australia
"I have watched your film about three times now, and I want to congratulate you on the exquisite product that you have crafted. I have had some experience with the medicine and found that you presented the material in a very balanced, objective, yet in-depth and poetic manner. It is a film that I can comfortably share with a wide range of people including friends, colleagues and clients. I do not usually send these kinds of emails, yet I was so impressed with your work, that I needed to communicate that to you." -- S.S., Victoria, BC, Canada
"I had the pleasure of seeing "Ayahuasca: Vine of the Soul" last night with a friend and it truly has inspired me. I am a homeopath and healer and it sang to my heart on all levels. Your film was not only insightful but it shared the essence of this plant in a deep and powerful way. I often have a difficult time explaining what this whole process can do for someone, because so much of it is intangible and beyond words. Yet you accomplished this beautifully. Thank you :)" -- P.B., Toronto, Canada
"The making of documentaries about ayahuasca has almost become a cottage industry. Richard Meech's excellent film, Ayahuasca: Vine of the Soul, sets a high bar that others only aspire to meet. Anyone with a serious interest in ayahuasca, shamanism, or ayahuasca tourism will find much food for thought here." -- Dennis McKenna Ph.D, Ethnopharmacologist, University of Minnesota, and co-author of "The Invisible Landscape"with Terence McKenna
"I hugely enjoyed this and feel you have done an important piece of work that helps spread the light about ayahuasca. Whatever prejudices or opinions audiences bring to the watching of the film I think there's no doubt that all of them will leave with a clear impression of intelligent, thoughtful young people profoundly moved by their mysterious encounter with the vine. All in all, an excellent job in a top-class, professional film." -- Graham Hancock, author, "Supernatural: Meetings with the Ancient Teachers of Mankind" and "Fingerprints of the Gods"
"Richard Meech's documentary captures the expectations and the experiences of a group of North Americans who travel to Peru to imbibe ayahuasca, the controversial mind-altering brew. The film's authenticity is remarkable. Indeed, Ayahuasca: Vine of the Soul will affect most viewers so profoundly that it is the next best thing to actually flying to South America to have a first-hand experience." -- Stanley Krippner Ph.D, Professor of Psychology, Saybrook University, San Francisco and author of "Demystifying Shamans and their World"
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