Research, Articles, News, Books, Films & Documentaries
Reports, Research and Articles
A Narrative of Travels on the Amazon and Rio Negro, by Alfred Russel Wallace, published in 1895, is the Amazon travel memoir of the author, a biologist and colleague of Charles Darwin.
Wizard of the Upper Amazon: The Story of Manuel Córdova-Rios, by F. Bruce Lamb, published in 1993, documents life among a South American indigenous tribe. (Available as an Audiobook.)
Floods of Fortune: Ecology and Economy Along the Amazon, by Michael Goulding, published in 1995, features natural history and economy of the region.
One River: Explorations and Discoveries in the Amazon Rain Forest, by Wade Davis, published in 1997, is the story of two generations of scientific explorers.
The Amazon River Forest: A Natural History of Plants, Animals, and People, by Nigel Smith, published in 1999, examines the culture and nature of the region.
The Mapmaker’s Wife: A True Tale of Love, Murder, and Survival in the Amazon, by Robert Whitaker, published in 2004, reports about the 18th century experiment, known as the French Geodesic Mission, by Europeans, to explore the interior of South America and measure one degree of latitude, at the equator, in order to confirm Isaac Newton’s theories about the shape of the Earth. The story includes the drama of a couple separated across thousands of miles, and the solo journey of the wife through the Amazon. (Available as an Audiobook.)
The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey, by Candice Millard, published in 2006, chronicles the Amazon journey of the former US president after his 1912 election defeat. (Available as an Audiobook.)
Territorial Policies in the Amazon, by Neli Aparecida de Mello, published in 2006 in Portuguese, explores Amazon policies starting from 1970 with specific focus on government programs and multilateral development programs developed after the 1992 Rio Earth Summit.
The Last Forest: The Amazon in the Age of Globalization, by Mark London and Brian Kelly, published in 2007, follows the transformation of the region and the conflict between development and conservation.
Thief at the End of the World, by Joe Jackson, published in 2009, recounts the journey of Henry Wickham who smuggled 70,000 rubber tree seeds from the Amazon to Great Britain and helped to start the rubber boom of the early 20th century.
Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Forgotten Jungle City, by Greg Grandin, published in 2009, reports about Henry Ford’s ill-fated 1920s effort to create a rubber plantation town in a remote area of the Amazon in Brazil. (Available as an Audiobook).
The Gold Book of the Amazon, by Augusto Meirelles, published in 2009 in Portuguese, brings the people, biodiversity and myths of the amazon up for reflection while considering the threats they face.
Tree of Rivers: The Story of the Amazon, by John Hemming, published in 2009, explores the history of the region through key personalities – explorers, archaeologists, botanists, etc.
The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon, by David Grann, published in 2009, is a modern study of the 1925 journey of a British explorer who disappeared in the Amazon. (Available as an Audiobook.)
Schools in the Forest: How Grassroots Education Brought Political Empowerment to the Brazilian Amazon, by Denis Heyck, published in 2010, takes readers on a journey into the Brazilian rainforest with the grassroots activists and teachers who have helped transform the Brazilian state of Acre through their courageous work.
The Devil and Mr. Casement: One Man’s Battle for Human Rights in South America’s Heart of Darkness, by Jordan Goodman, published in 2010, recounts the 1910 investigation by a British journalist of a crime against humanity in the Peruvian Amazon that history has almost forgotten, but whose exposure in 1912 sent shockwaves around the world.
Deep Jungle: Journey to the Heart of the Rainforest, by Fred Pearce, published in 2010, examines the biodiversity of rainforests and considers their future.
River of Darkness: Francisco Orellana’s Legendary Voyage of Death and Discovery Down the Amazon, by Buddy Levy, published in 2011, tells the story of a 16th century explorer in the Amazon. (Available as an Audiobook.)
The Fate of the Forest: Developers, Destroyers, and Defenders of the Amazon, by Susanna Hecht and Alexander Cockburn, published in 2011, reports about the destruction of the forest and solutions.
Tropical Nature: Life and Death in the Rain Forests of Central and South America, by Adrian Forsyth and Ken Miyata, published in 2011, features essays on habitats, ecology, plants and animals.
Management of the Amazon: Assets, Policies and Proposals, by Jacques Marcovitch, published in 2011 in Portuguese, explores management of the Amazon biome while considering biodiversity, water, deforestation, social challenges and other contemporary controversies.
Walking the Amazon: 860 Days. One Step at a Time, by Ed Stafford, published in 2012, reveals one man’s history-making journey down the full length of the Amazon river. (Available as an Audiobook in Danish.)
The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon’s Last Uncontacted Tribes, by Scott Wallace, published in 2012, documents the true story of a journey to track an uncontacted indigenous people.
Noble Savages, by Napoloeon Chagnon, published in 2014, tells the story of Chagnon and his anthropological research of the Yanomamo Indians in the Venezuelan Amazon and the ensuring controversy that his work ignited.
Mother of God: An Extraordinary Journey into the Uncharted Tributaries of the Western Amazon, by Paul Rosolie, published in 2015, is the autobiographical story of a young explorer in the Amazon wilderness. (Available as an Audiobook.)
Cattle in the Backlands: Mato Grosso and the Evolution of Ranching in the Brazilian Tropics, by Robert W. Wilcox, published in 2017, recounts the history of ranching in Mato Grosso, Brazil, exploring three key aspects: the economic transformation of remote areas through modern technical inputs, the resulting labor and land tenure changes, and the long-term impact of ranching on ecosystems.
Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes: Life and Language in the Amazonian Jungle, by Daniel Everett, published in 2017, features the story of the author, a missionary, learning from the Pirahã tribe and losing his religion. (Available as an Audiobook.)
The Dilemma of Amazonian Development, by Emilio Moran, published in 2019, combines anthropology, geography, ecology, economics, and sociology to the analysis of the Amazon River region and its development, exploring the impact of development on Amazonian populations and the results of rural and urban growth strategies.
Amazonia: An Economy of Nature Knowledge, by Ricardo Abramovay, published in 2019 in Portuguese, dispels the notion that economic growth in the Amazon requires deforestation.
The Amazon: What Everyone Needs to Know, by Mark Plotkin, published in 2020, presents an overview of the ecosystem and the challenges that face it.
Masters of the Lost Land: The Untold Story of the Amazon and the Violent Fight for the World’s Last Frontier, by Heriberto Araujo, published in 2023, features the struggle of Maria Joel Dias da Costa and her fight for justice against the Brazilian legal system and the land baron’s who murdered her husband. (Available as an Audiobook.)
Films, Documentaries and Other Videos
Several feature films and documentaries help to tell the story of Amazon conservation, including:
Raoni, released in 1978, follows the struggle, of the Indigenous chief Raoni, through the preservation of the Xingu national park, while threanted by hunters, landgrabbers, and loggers.
The Emerald Forest, released in 1985, tells the story of a Westerner who grows up as part of an Amazon tribe and re-enters urban civilization in search of family
Banking on Disaster, released in 1988 by Bullfrog Films, documents the consequences of paving a road into the Amazon
Killing for Land, released in 1990, shares the journey of poor farmers who migrate to the Amazon as homesteaders
The Fate of the Kidnapper, released in 1999, tells the story of a homestead family and the Uru Eu Wau Wau tribe
Return from Extinction, released in 1999, documents the invasion, disappearance and return of the Indigenous Panara tribe
The Shaman’s Apprentice, released in 2001, follows an ethnobotanist in the Amazon searching for plants that heal
They Killed Sister Dorothy, released in 2007 by HBO, tells the story of Sister Dorothy Stang, her defense of the Amazon, and the trial that followed her assassination.
Children of the Amazon, released in 2008, follows Brazilian filmmaker Denise Zmekhol as she travels a modern highway deep into the Amazon in search of the Indigenous Surui and Negarote children she photographed fifteen years before.
Crude, released on 2009, reports about a class action lawsuit against the Chevron Corporation for oil pollution in the Ecuadorian Amazon
10th Parallel, released in 2011 by Icarus Films, documents a journey of contact with uncontacted tribes in Brazil
Fight for Amazonia, released in 2012 by Al Jazeera, follows Brazil’s youngest national park director as she declares war on drug gangs and the logging mafia
Oil and Water, released in 2014 by Bullfrog films, tells the story of two young leaders and oil exploration in the Ecuadorean Amazon
Toxic Amazon, released in 2014 by Vice, documents the link between deforestation and slavery.
Tipping Point: The Amazon, released in 2014, chronicles the conflict between Brazilian economic development and Amazonian sustainability
Embrace the Serpent, released in 2015, dramatizes the journeys of an ethnographer, a shaman and a botanist through the Amazon in search of the rare plant yakruna
Taego Awa, released in 2016, features the story of two filmmakers who found VHS tapes containing cultural records of the Ãwa tribe. In search of the group, they discovered a historic trajectory of confrontation with white people dating back to 1973.
River of Gold, released in 2016 by the Amazon Aid Foundation, documents the problem of illegal gold mining in the Amazon
Beyond Fordlandia, released in 2017, tells the story of the failed attempt by Henry Ford to create a rubber production plantation in the Amazon
Belo Monte After the Flood, released in 2017, documents the controversial dam on the Xingu river.
The Crying Forest, released in 2017 by Al Jazeera, documents the story of activist Jose Ribeiro da Silva who died protecting the Amazon forest
Creatures of the Amazon Rainforest, released in 2017 by National Geographic, documents the biodiversity of the region
Grazing the Amazon, released in 2018, narrates the history of cattle in the Amazon from government policies back in the 1960s to the problems of deforestation today
Ex-Shaman, released in 2018, tells the story of the Paiter Surui, an Amazon tribe suffering from exposure to modernity, and persistant former shaman who is search for ways to restore the vitality of his village.
The Amazon – The Awakening of Florestania, released in 2019, is a portrait of how politics and destruction can go hand in hand, depending on the interests of those in power, and how the development of Brazil has been linked to the destruction of the forest.
Aruanas, released in 2019, is a fictional TV series about NGO activists who investigate illegal miners in the Brazilian Amazon
Guardians of the Amazon, released on 2019, is an ABC News documentary about a small indigenous group taking up arms to hunt down illegal loggers and fight for their land.
REBBL with a Cause, released in 2019, tells the creation story of REBBL tea in the Peruvian Amazon to ‘wild harvest” Brazil nuts, generate income, prevent human trafficking and conserve forests
Amazon Uncovered, released in 2020, with support from the Munduruku audiovisual collective, shows Amazonian biodiversity and forest degradation over four decades while local populations unite to register their land.
Nheengatu, released in 2020, follows the search for speakers of a lost hybrid language used to reduce diversity and convert Amazonians to christianity in the upper Rio Negro.
The Condor and the Eagle, released in 2020, follows the trip of indigenous leaders from North America to the Amazon people from the North and South for climate justice
Guardians of the Amazon, released in 2020 by ABC News, documents an indigenous group working to prevent illegal logging
The Story of the Siege of the Amazon, released in 2020 by Friends of the Earth Brazil, documents the resistance of local Amazonians against the illegal advances of industry in the time of COVID19
Takeout, released in 2020, chronicles Amazon forest fires, their causes, and recent deforestation trends while exploring food choices, greed, political corruption and other criminal activities.
Martírio: 40 Years of Struggle for Survival, released in 2020, explores genocide of the Guaraní Kaiowá people, their conflict with agribusiness, and their demand of the Brazilian Congress to recognize their land and halt evictions. (Screenings)
Yasuni Man, released in 2020, features the life and journey of the Waorani people of Ecuador, their nature and their struggle for conservation and survival against the advances of the oil industry. (Website)
Antamiki, released in 2020 by the Environmental Investigation Agency and REVERB, follows a group of musicians to the Peruvian Amazon to learn about illegal logging from indigenous leaders.
The Last Forest, released in 2021, documents the Indigenous community of the Yanomami and depicts their threatened natural environment in the Amazon rain forest.
Seeding Change, released in 2021, is a documentary about new companies taking on the environmental crisis (including Amazon deforestation) and empowering consumers to make change by voting with their dollars.
The Territory, released in 2022, is a documentary about land conflict in the Amazon between indigenous people and cattle ranchers
We Are Guardians, released in 2022, features the dynamics between an indigenous community protecting its forest, an illegal logger fighting poverty, and a large landowner facing invaders and extractive industries. We learn about the offerings of the forest and its role in global climate stability.
Gyuri, released in 2022, follows the story of a Swiss photographyer and an indigenous leader as they worked together to secure recognition of the Yanomami territory in the Amazon