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Last film in Beaver Creek series is Tuesday

Daily Staff Report
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily"Woven Songs of the Amazon" is a documentary film about the Shipidbo Indians of the Amazon Basin of Peru. The shamans in the tribe take ayahuasca (a psychoactive infusion made from a vine of the same name that's native to the Amazon) and receive healing songs from plants and animals. They see the music as colors and patterns, which they record on cloth, pottery, and bodies that need healing. These patterns can be read back and sung by other Shipibo. The film screens at 7 p.m. at the Vilar Performing Arts Center on Tuesday.
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BEAVER CREEK, Colorado ” Vivid colors, mystical beliefs and the preservation of ancient cultural traditions characterize “Woven Songs of the Amazon” (2006). This documentary about the Shipibo Indians of the Amazon Basin of Peru screens tonight at 7 p.m. on at the Vilar Performing Arts Center, closing out the 2008 Beaver Creek Documentary Film Series.

The Shipibo are one of 14 indigenous tribes living deep within the Amazon basin of Peru and number about 35,000 people. The film shows the origin of their intricate textiles, what they are, how they are used, and the Shipibo’s struggle in preserving and passing them down to the youngest generations. Herlinda, one of the Shipibo Elders, guides the story of preserving, protecting, and keeping the vast knowledge of song patterns, or icaros, alive as the western world encroaches. The film is in Spanish with English subtitles, and is infused with ancient melodies.

The vibrant culture of the Shipibo is expressed in their intricately embroidered healing cloths. Their shamans, who are mostly women, take ayahuasca (a psychoactive infusion made from a vine of the same name that’s native to the Amazon) and receive healing songs from plants and animals. As a fascinating display of synesthesia, they see the music as colors and patterns, which they record on cloth, pottery, and bodies that need healing. These patterns can be read back and sung by other Shipibo.



“This documentary provides a powerful glimpse into the Shipibo culture as they grapple with modern progress,” said Fraidy Aber, executive director of the Vail Symposium.

“Woven Songs of the Amazon” won the Silver Medal at the Park City Music Film Festival. “This screening comes with an extra treat ” Anna Stevens, the director, will be joining us after the film to answer questions and share insight into her filmmaking process.”



After the film, the film’s director Anna Stevens will lead a discussion over coffee and dessert in the lower lobby of the Vilar. In addition, cloths and music cds will be available for sale following the film.

Anna Stevens is a producer, director and editor, and founder of Green Spider Films. Between 1998 and 2002 she directed for Santa Fe Community television. Her work during that time included numerous commercials, corporate training videos, as well as media work for local non-profits. In 2002 her short subject documentary “The Mystic Traveler” was an official selection of the CSF Juried Show and is now featured on the DVD Frame By Frame. Her past producing credits include a nine part television series, “Understanding People” (2001), “Green Medicine: On the Path of Herbal Remedies” (2000), “The Mystic Traveler” (2002), and “Woven Songs of the Amazon” (2006). She is currently in production on “Keepers of the Rainforest” and “Traversing the Inca Empire” a seven-part series being produced in conjunction with Bigworld Communications of Canada, due for release in 2009.

For more information on Vail Symposium visit http://www.vailsymposium.org or call 476-0954.


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