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Sacred Science, The

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School Bd/College/University DVD: $275
K-12 Single School DVD: $95
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Grade Level: SrH-Adult
Producer: Video Project
Closed Captioned: Yes
Running Time: 77 mins
Country of Origin: United States
Study Guide: Yes

Copyright Date: 2011
Available in French: No

The Sacred Science is a groundbreaking documentary that captures an unprecedented glimpse into the ancient healing practices of the Amazon rainforest’s medicine men, or shamans, whose unique knowledge of indigenous plants and rituals is threatened by deforestation, modernization and ecotourism.

The region’s traditional healers have knowledge of a vast catalogue of natural plant medicines and practices that have been time-tested for centuries, but are little-known outside the rainforests and may soon be lost forever. A large number of the synthetic medicines we know today were discovered in these rainforests. However, less than 5% of Amazonian plants have been examined for their healing potential.

The Sacred Science follows eight people from the developed world with a variety of common and serious ailments who embark on a challenging, one-month healing journey into the heart of the Amazon jungle. Working with a handful of shamans experienced in the harvesting and preparation of traditional plant medicines, as well as ritual exercises, these men and women seek to overcome Parkinson’s disease, cancer, alcoholism, diabetes and depression. Ultimately, five of the patients return with measurable improvements, exceeding the expectations of many.

Never before has such a candid, in-depth account of these traditional practices been caught on film. The Sacred Science is a provocative call both to look deeper into these traditional methods and their potential benefit to humankind, as well as to preserve the forests and ancient cultures for the treasures and knowledge they possess.
"Even skeptics will likely be impressed by the way that old barriers between the physical and the spiritual seems to melt away here, and by the eloquence of the film's underlying plea to preserve Amazonian healing traditions increasingly under threat by deforestation, modernization, and eco-tourism. Captures the whole process beautifully…and the ambient sense of wonder in The Sacred Science is hard to resist."
-Starz Denver Film Festival
• Discussion Guide.
• Interview with Jacques Mabit, owner of a renowned drug rehabilitation center in the Amazon that only uses traditional plant medicines and boasts a 70% success rate with crack and heroine addicts.
• Foray deep into the jungle with a Chazuta medicine woman who points out and explains a few extremely potent plants she uses to treat cancer, tuberculosis, and HIV.
• Overview of the permaculture techniques being implemented to reinvigorate decimated regions of the rainforest, and shows the dangers of slash and burn agriculture.
• Behind the scenes clip showing how the film was made.

Official Selection
Mill Valley Film Festival
Starz Denver Film Festival
Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital

Links: www.thesacredscience.com

Related Titles Clip Producer
In the Presence of Healers: Conversations with Ethnobotanist Paul Cox Direct Cinema