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Brazil with Michael Palin

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S1-E2 Into Amazonia

S1-E2 Into Amazonia

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Review

Palin skims the roof of the rainforest as he flies deep into the heart of Brazil to Amazonia. He’s lavishly welcomed by the Yanomami tribe, who show him how to use a bow and arrow before laughing openly at his ham-fisted attempts.

It’s another packed leg of a busy journey where Palin has some fun,
but he also listens solemnly as the Yanomami’s shaman/spokesman describes the various threats to the tribe’s hunter-gatherer way of life. It’s a sad litany of illegal gold-mining, poisoning and the introduction
of potentially deadly western illnesses such as measles. The Brazilian government is doing its best to keep the Yanomami healthy, with regular medical checks, but Palin feels that life changes are being forced upon the tribe, when “surely the choices should be theirs”.

Later, in a market in Brasilia, he is offered a herbal version of Viagra
(“I think I’m past that now”) and meets a singer known as “the Beyoncé of the Amazon”.

Summary

The Monty Python star continues his first visit to Brazil by travelling by river from the northern border with Venezuela to the capital of Brasilia. Along the way he visits indigenous tribe the Yanomami, learning about the threat to their hunter-gatherer way of life, before watching a rehearsal by the Amazon Philharmonic Orchestra and searching for the remains of Henry Ford's unsuccessful attempt to build a vast rubber plantation in the middle of the rainforest. In Belem, music producer Priscilla explains why Amazonian women are such powerful forces, then he moves southwards, meeting rock star and political activist Dinho Ouro Preto, who believes that despite its social and environmental problems, the country is on the brink of becoming a superpower.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Michael Palin
Director John Paul Davidson
Executive Producer Steve Abbott
Executive Producer Charlotte Moore
Series Producer John Paul Davidson

Documentary

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