Sebastian and Pastora live in a Shuar village in the Upper Amazonia of Ecuador. Sebastian is not only a respected healer, but also a medicinal botanist who experiments with unknown plants he encounters in the forest. His unique practice seeks to cultivate new knowledge, reconnecting him with his ancestors. Pastora is one of the rare female leaders in Amazonia, who struggles to negotiate with local authorities for her community. With powerful plants such as ayahuasca, they revive and energise their perceptions of the future. These plants allow them to acquire power and a faith to cope with the obstacles they now face, given that their lives have been irreversibly affected by the modern state system. The alert eyes of the filmmaker, embodied in the drifting camera, creates a distinctive field of personal story-telling, inviting the viewers into the unique sensory experience of the life in Amazonia, where truths, meanings and images flow and take unpredictable shapes.
KANARTA: ALIVE IN DREAMS is a hybrid documentary film that draws inspirations from cinéma-vérité, direct cinema, road movie and video art, while solidly based on long-term ethnographic research.
Director: Akimi Ota / Cinematography, Sound Recording & Editing: Akimi Ota/ Sound Design: Martin Salomonsen/ Colour Grading: Aline Biz/ Featuring: Sebastian Tsamarain & Pastora Tanchima/ In Collaboration With: Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology