Director/Producer: Christian Baumeister DP: Christian Baumeister, Luis de Maia, Rolando Menardi, Alexander Sommer, Yann Sochaczewski Editor: Stefan Canham, Stefan Reiss Music: Oliver Heuss Format: HD 1080 LIGHT & SHADOW for NDR Naturfilm, Arte, ORF, Parthenon Entertainment Ltd. / National Geographic Channel International
PART 1Jungle of the Mind
This is the story of how we’ve struggled to make sense of the enormity and complexity of the Amazon rainforest.Usingkey animals such as Jaguar, leaf-cutting ant, giant otter, and the fresh-water sting-ray,we’ll showhow we’ve turned past fears of the hostile and impenetrable jungle into an understanding of its unrivalled bio-diversity.We discover that the forest is not just the result of millions of years of evolution;itsrichness stems from struggle, upheaval and a remarkable event – the up-lift of the Andes – which changed the course of the Amazon river itself.
PART 2Hidden Secrets
The Amazon has long been hailed as a biological treasure trove, but today we’re finding out that this is only part of its remarkable story.We meet tarantulas and frogs, ants and trees which should be mortal enemies, but which are in fact friends.As we learn more about how the forest functions, we’re gaining greater respect for its intricate web of life and the people who live, dove-tailed, within it.Hidden among its tangle of vegetation and waterways are clues that – far from being locked in the stone-age – Amazonian tribes may be the descendents of sophisticated cultures that were once many millions-strong.
PART 3Forest of the Future
It’s hard not to feel despair at the overwhelming images of rainforest destruction. But while documenting the region’s remarkable wildlife for the making of Amazon Alive, film-maker Christian Baumeister has also witnessed a changing mood: a growing belief that it is more valuable as a living forest, than being stripped for its wood and minerals. Scientists hang from the high canopy to monitor Harpy Eagle and Macaw nests; and track jaguars along flooded rivers. Poison dart frogs and tropical plants are analyzed as potential medicines; while brazil nuts, caiman and pirarucu fish are harvested sustainably to provide a more long-term livelihood. Christian discovers that a increasing respect for the Amazon's natural wonders, can translate into hope for the future.