Amazon Souls (2013)

  • Sarah helps Rosa; weaving a hammock
  • Finally on her way to meet the Houarani!
  • Going into the jungle to gather food with the women
  • Out off petrol, thus rowing to get back to the village
  • The hunters are prepared to defend their territory
  • Just before the ceremony
  • Sarah amidst some tribal members
  • Houarani boy shows deforestation

Title and year: 

Amazon Souls, 2013


Huaorani Tribe, Sarah Begum.


Sarah Begum


After finally managing the necessary funding from herself and private investors, Sarah Begum -a 21-year old Londoner- bought a plane ticket to the Amazon to realise her childhood dream: she went to live with the Huaorani tribe deep in the Amazon Rainforest and immersed herself in their way of life. This is the film she made of her extraordinary journey; hunting with warriors, gathering with women and hearing about the devastating impacts of the oil and wood industry in the Amazon Rainforest.


I grew up with a brother who in childhood was adamant to go to the Amazon with his best friend, so this short film fascinated me from the beginning due to this young woman, Sarah, utterly brimming with enthusiasm and seemingly fearless as she is going deep into the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest to finally stay with an indigenous tribe, one which is actually renowned for killing outsiders to protect their way of life.

It is good to see this young British explorer wholeheartedly immersing herself in the work of both the women as the men: Gathering food and other resources (for making hammocks, dye, medicine, provide warmth, etc) in the forest is a women’s job; men do the hunting. Women don’t usually accompany men on their hunts, but if she adhered to the rules, Sarah was obliged to accompany the men deeper into the forest with the hunters.

After overcoming some cultural differences Sarah is honored by the tribe: she was crowned queen and also was married of to a warrior to be totally accepted into the community. Sarah experienced first-hand how the jungle sustains life in all ways needed and expresses her awe of this precious balance.

I wonder how the tribes are faring these days and what kind of solutions there have been put into constructive action to sustain this important rainforest, the lungs of the Earth. The film definitely captures the fact the rainforest is crucial in Amazonian Tribal life and the increasing threat of it becoming extinct.


Sarah’s visit opened her eyes and gives her a profound respect for the way tribal men and women live in harmony with the Amazonian nature; The jungle is all they need to sustain their lives. An honourable  and traditional life that is severely threatened by not only oil and forest exploitation, but also the luring luxuries of the modern world.  This short film is compelling, well put together in terms of picture quality, music and narratives. I would love to see more creative ways to be able to support the tribal way of life and to prevent the further destruction of the rainforest, perhaps content for part 2.

Movie rating: 7.5/10


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