- Michael Shields
In the latest episode of WTTPP, hosts Brian Sachon and Michael Shields explore the Amazon jungle through the 2015 drama Embrace Of The Serpent, directed by Ciro Guerra and written by Guerra and Jacques Toulemonde Vidal. Based on the the travel diaries of German Ethnologist Theodor Koch-Grunberg and American biologist Richard Evans Schultes, and dedicated to lost Amazonian cultures, Embrace Of The Serpent was the first Colombian film nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. The deeply affecting movie recounts two stories set thirty years apart, both featuring the entirely captivating Karamakate, an Amazonian shaman, who accompanies a pair of scientists on their hunt for a rare, sacred plant known for its healing powers, both physical and spiritual. The episode dissects the film’s exceptional journey which culminates in a spectacular superconscious experience. This episode also features one of the most personal moments in the young history of Welcome To The Party Pal wherein Brian, ever a zestful traveler, discusses his most recent trip to South America. Candidly, and over the course of the discussion of the film, Brian openly delves into his experience in the Amazon, a journey which in many ways mirrors the events of the film in that during his travels Brian visited Pisatahua, an integrative plant-medicine and ayahuasca retreat, located in a remote area of the Bolivian Amazon. His recounting of what happened next puts the “mind-bending” in “The Mind-Bending Film & Television Podcast You Didn’t know You Needed!