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The Tribe That Hides From Man (1870) (1970) [DVDRip (DivX)]"DW Staff Approved"
Shot over two years by Adrian Cowell and his team, The Tribe That Hides From Man is an extraordinary film, made under the most hazardous conditions. The film follows Orlando and Claudio Villas Boas as they enter previously unexplored areas of the Amazon jungle, in an effort to locate the Kreen Okrore tribe and help them make (inevitable) contact with the modern world. The sounds and silences of the forest are often eerie and unsettling, while the photography is remarkable.
The Kreen-Akrore are a forest Indian tribe living in the Amazon basin of Brazil who successfully managed to evade the cameras and crew accompanying the Villas Boas brothers during their attempt to make first contact with these hostile and entirely unknown people. The search for the Kreen?Akrore lends itself to a documentary style which uses the conventions of narrative cinema, unfolding the events chronologically, while building up the tension and suspense of the search: for example subjective' shots are utilised to give the impression of what it is like to be watched, by unseen eyes in a hostile jungle. Some of the scenes are clearly staged, thus helping to reconstruct the events and tensions of the search.
However, this is not to lessen the importance of the film as ethnographic account, especially as it manages to be both entertaining and informative. This prize?winning film is one of the most ambitious documentaries ever made for television, but since the Kreen?Akrore are never directly present the film becomes a record of conceptions of ethnographic film?making.
Co-photographed by the great Chris Menges (Kes, The Killing Fields), this British TV documentary from 1970 seems consistent with some of the best fiction films that explored the Amazonian jungle in the 1980s. Like Fitzcarraldo, The Emerald Forest and The Mission (which Menges also shot), Adrian Cowell’s film accepts the anthropological while never surrendering the sense of mystery.
Following a couple of experts into the jungle as they search for the unknown Kreen Akrore tribe, the search is arduous: they can cover no more than a mile a day as they hack away at the jungle foliage determined to find this most mysterious and dangerous of tribes. What little is known about them is based on their willingness to kill everyone with whom they come into contact. And anybody who knows and loves Peter Watkins’ work (The War Game, Culloden) should take a look at this. (Tony McKibbin)
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