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Vine of the Soul: Encounters with Ayahuasca

Can a sacred plant from the Amazon heal our minds and spirits? For centuries, indigenous people of South America have used ayahuasca, a psychoactive plant medicine, to cure all manner of psycho-spiritual ills. Today, thousands of Westerners, seeking healing and spiritual awakening, attend ayahuasca ceremonies around the world to drink the vision-inducing tea and experience dramatic transformations in their lives. "Vine of the Soul” is a documentary that explores the mystery of ayahuasca shamanism, offering insights into the nature of spirituality, mystical experience and self-healing through a heightened state of consciousness. Filmmaker Richard Meech follows key protagonists as they journey to Peru – and back home – capturing in verité style both the life-altering epiphanies and nights of terror encountered after drinking the sacred brew. 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 people 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 curanderos, 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 Western medicine, personal spiritual growth and a new understanding of nature.
"The film's authenticity is remarkable. Indeed, "Vine of the Soul: Encounters with Ayahuasca" 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, "Demystifying Shamans and their World".
"I hugely enjoyed this and feel you have done an important piece of work that helps spread the light about Ayahuasca. 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".
"The making of documentaries about ayahuasca has almost become a cottage industry. Richard Meech's excellent film, "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 "The Invisible Landscape"with Terence McKenna.
Film Details
One Off
Format: 
HD
2010
MinutesSeconds
Run time52-
English
Meech Grant Productions Ltd.
Credits
Director: 
Richard Meech
Producer: 
Richard Meech
Executive Producer: 
Richard Meech
Executive Producer: 
Jerry McIntosh
Production Manager: 
Deborah MacDonald
Editor: 
Chris Cassino
Assistant Editor: 
Yuval Sagiv
Writer: 
Richard Meech
Researcher: 
Elizabeth Klinck
Cinematographer: 
Derek Rogers
Film Composer: 
Eric Cadesky and Nick Dyer
Sound Recordist: 
Mario Rivas
Sound Recordist: 
Ian Challis
Sound Recordist: 
Patrick Brereton
Sound Mixer: 
Richard Spence-Thomas
Online Editor: 
Dan Johnston
Narration: 
Richard Meech
Commissioning Editor: 
Joan Jenkinson
Distributor: 
Louise Rosen Ltd
Awards and Festivals
2010, Silver Chris Award/Columbus International Film+Video Festival
2010, Silver Remi Award/ WorldFest Houston International Film Festival
2011, Special Jury Prize/Awareness Film Festival, Los Angeles