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IMAX film takes viewers up Amazon

“Amazon,” the new IMAX film at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park takes big screen theatergoers on a 4,000-mile journey from the high Andes through the rain forest and into the majestic Amazon basin. Footage of Machu Picchu, river rapids, waterfalls, wildlife and cultural customs led to an Academy Award nomination in 1997 for Best Documentary/Short Subject Film.

“Amazon” tells the story of two medicine men from vastly different worlds who share a common quest. A tribal shaman and an American ethnobotanist take a parallel pursuit to find healing plants. Dr Mark Plotkin travels upriver, while the fictional shaman, Julio Mamani, descends from the Andes. Both men contribute to finding medicinal plants that may yield cures for disease.

Through the eyes of modern-day explorer Sydney Possuelo, filmgoers also meet the Zoë, an indigenous tribe who experienced their first contact with Western civilization during the filming of AMAZON. The Zoë go utterly naked without regard to age and gender. They sleep in heavy handmade hammocks slung in thatched huts without walls. Skilled archers, the men hunt, while the women process manioc (a fleshy rootstock yielding a nutritious starch), and all gather Brazil nuts.

For show times and ticket prices, see www.rhfleet.org or call (619) 238-1233.