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'Amazon' shows magnificence of South American watershed

I began my journalism career 24 years ago with Soccer San Diego, so when I saw the preview of “Amazon,” which opened October 1 at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, I had to think of South America differently than with some of my past assignments. As it turns out, the Amazon is just as impressive as any South American soccer team.

“Amazon” covers the watershed and the nearby indigenous tribes along with the river. As is the case with a couple of its South American soccer counterparts, the Amazon is probably more powerful and more multifaceted than any river in CONCACAF (that’s a soccer region comprised of North America, Central America, Surinam, and Guyana).

There is more biodiversity along the Amazon river and its watershed than there is in any north-south area in CONCACAF.

Julio Manani and Mark Plotkin aren’t soccer coaches, but they’re both scouting for key finds in South America.

Manani is from a tribe of Inca healers in Bolivia and is looking for a suitable elixir for the shaman’s current needs.

Plotkin is an American ethnobiologist who is also looking for healing substances, believing that various fungi or herbs in the Amazon watershed hold the key to a cure for certain worldwide diseases.

Since Manani’s journey began in Bolivia, the Andes mountains also make an appearance in the film. Manani and Plotkin explore various plant species on their journey.

The Amazon itself adds animal life to the plant presence. Those animals do what they do with or without human intervention, and the filming takes advantage of some of that animal interaction.

The humans include those of Inca, African, Spanish, and Portuguese descent. The filming of indigenous tribes unaffected by modern culture adds an element to the film.

“Amazon” is a documentary and not an action movie, so the quests of Manani and Plotkin aren’t overly exciting but explain the areas of their travels.

In terms of excitement, “Amazon” resembles the British style of soccer more than the offense-oriented South American style. But in terms of expressing the dominance of the Amazon, the film met its goal.

 

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