After many years of research in European laboratories, an international team led by MuDr. Tomáš Páleníček sets off for the Amazon rainforest to compare different aspects of the influence of psychedelics on brain function with the centuries-long experience of Indian shamans living in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. The researchers’ goal is to find alternatives to overused and ineffective antidepressants.
The experiment involves a group of twenty volunteers, who will be using Ayahuasca and monitored under laboratory conditions as well as in the rainforest, led by an experienced shaman. The effects of Ayahuasca on the volunteers will then be measured in both environments, and the two results compared.
The experiment offers the exclusive opportunity to visit and work with the leaders of the Huni kui tribe, who live in the middle of the rainforest and have minimal contact with modern civilization, which nobody has achieved before for research purposes. Under the rule of president Bolsonaro, indigenous people welcome every opportunity to help shed light on and protect their way of life, which is going extinct.
Czech Director / Cinematographer David Čálek (1971, Prague) graduated from Prague’s FAMU film school in 1998 and has shot and/or directed over 30 documentaries around the world for independent producers and TV broadcasters (Czech TV, HBO CZ). His doc HEAVEN AND HELL was released theatrically in the Czech Republic and had its international festival premiere at SXSW 2011, Austin, Texas, USA. The film was awarded as the BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM at the IFF Finale – Plzen 2011, Czech Republic. As DP, he shot 8 narrative feature films, including MAMAS & PAPAS – the winner of the Best Film Price at the Hamptons IFF 2010 NY, USA. David is shooting in extreme conditions (documentary films-Afghanistan, Chechnya, Kenya, Somalia, underwater shooting or shooting on K2) as well as social and drama feature films in Europe or US.