Secrets of the Tribe


Year: 2009
Run Time: 94 minutes

The members of this poorly understood tribe are warlike, territorial, and highly sexualized. We refer, of course, not to the Yanomami Amerindians of the Amazon basin, subjects of much heated anthropological debate, but to the clan of anthropologists themselves. SECRETS OF THE TRIBE introduces us to a motley cast of characters in the drama that has been swirling for decades around outspoken American anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon, who first lived among the Yanomami in the 60s. Chagnon detailed their drug use, warfare, and woman-stealing raids on other villages, arguing that fierce Yanomami men had more female partners and offspring, thus dominating their communities. Many resent his portrayal of Yanomami violence, suggesting it gives governments an excuse for not protecting them against encroaching gold miners. With accusations flying at Chagnon thick as arrows, one reporter even accuses him of purposefully exposing the Yanomami to measles. The film presents titillating stories of scientists pursuing sexual relations with tribal boys and bringing Amazonian girls back to New Jersey. Have these self-serving academics really abused this ancient people, pushing it to the brink of extinction? Disregard your preconceptions and judge for yourself. (In Yanomaman, Spanish, Italian, and English with subtitles) –B.B.

José Padilha

Nicolas Duval-Adassovsky, Laurent Zeitoun, Yann Zenou

Olivier Nakache, Éric Toledano

Mathieu Vadepied

Dorian Rigal-Ansous

Principal Cast
François Cluzet, Omar Sy

Director Bio
José Padilha studied business, politics and economics in Rio de Janeiro, followed by English literature and international politics at Oxford.

Select Filmography
"Bus 174" (2002), "Elite Squad" (2007), SECRETS OF THE TRIBE (2009), "Garapa" (2009), "Elite Squad 2" (2010)

Print Source

Stampede Limited


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