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A Study of Ayahuasca Documentary Film

Introducing Ayahuasca Documentary Film


  • Gwendoline Nalvarte Nunez

Summary, in English

This master thesis invites the reader to acquire and examine new evidence about an emerging and growing sub-genre type of documentary film called Ayahuasca documentary. This study bases its definition of the Ayahuasca documentary sub-genre on a current work in the progress catalogue of over 50 documentary films, two of which were selected as case studies. These films suggest a growing cultural interest in plant medicine and ancient Amazonian knowledge in Western society, which leads to the aim of the study to define what Ayahuasca documentary film is and find out about its function in Western society, and why that is important.
The study design used is an exploratory qualitative methodology, with an interdisciplinary approach, within visual anthropology, cognitive science, neuroscience, social science and netnography. The gathered knowledge connected to the chosen films, Ayahuasca Vine of The Soul (2010) and Aya-Awakenings (2013), became the body source of the analysis, including an interview with Rak Razam, one of the directors.
Among the most relevant findings is that the Internet and the digital world have expanded the Ayahuasca culture for the past two decades, especially since the introduction of YouTube in 2005. In gaining consciousness, the Ayahuasca documentary film invites the spectator to reflect and learn about other realities and ancient cultural practices in a modem language. The documentaries call to see people who believe that this ancient knowledge would give us a better world and, for that reason, have gathered together to work with themselves, interdisciplinary and transnationally, which results indeed essential because it promotes peace and raises consciousness about our ecology.

Keywords: Ayahuasca, Documentary film, Interdisciplinary, Western society, Sub-genre, Vine of the Soul, Aya-Awakenings, Culture, Consciousness, Ancient knowledge.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Master's degree (one year)


  • Languages and Literatures


  • Keywords: Ayahuasca
  • Documentary film
  • Interdisciplinary
  • Western society
  • Sub-genre
  • Vine of the Soul
  • Aya-Awakenings
  • Culture
  • Consciousness
  • Ancient knowledge.


  • Lars Gustaf Andersson (Professor)