All About “The Emerald Forest” movie “The Emerald Forest” is a movie produced by John Boorman in 1985 and based on a true story in the Brazilian Rainforest. The film is a about Tommy, a young boy, quickly and silently taken away by a tribe in the Amazon called, The Invisible People. His dad then, spends 10 years searching for him and eventually succeeds after running into a war party with another tribe called, The Fierce People -enemies of the invisible people- who pursue him.
They finally meet by chance, but the boy refuses to go back to his original family and civilization and explains that he belongs to the forest now. The father couldn’t understand the choice made by Tommy and asks the chief of the tribe to order the boy to return with him. Then, the chief says : “If I told a man to do what he does not want to do, I would no longer be chief. ” This statement means that the chief always agrees with whatever the members of his tribe plan to do, he simply respects their choices. That’s the difference between these “primitive” society and our own.
For example, in Morocco, it is normal for the state or even your teacher to order you for everything and around every day of your life. Authority is always respected and people are generally more quiet and reserved around their superiors. They will not be upfront or direct with those above them. However, in some cases, it could have meetings and people may debates and speak over with their bosses. Compared to the authority structure of the invisibles, their chief behaves as a counselor, does give advices instead of orders.
... light, showing the mystery in them. She often greets people with her flashing smile, showing her white pearly teeth ... fund-raising organizations to help the needy and unfortunate people. Having a kind heart, my aunt brings home ... stood up and reprimanded the boy for being rude to elders. The boy was so ashamed that he kept ... rude. There is a time when a teenaged boy shouted at an old lady in the bus. ...
In my society, the government has the power to command and doesn’t care about wishes, wants and opinions of its community. And if we try to make a list of the differences and similarities between the invisibles and us, we will end up hating the system of our life. The Invisibles are peaceful people who live isolated and don’t have contact with globalised civilization. Their have their own cultures and believes. They tend to enlarge their community by finding the perfect match for either men or women.
They care about each other and can’t live separately. Why? Because they believe in working together to face the rude life of the Amazon Forest. At this point, we can say that their lifestyle is a bit similar to ours but we really ignore the huge value of the forest as they do. The technology in general, is known as an application of science or knowledge, in order to perform a specific function and achieve a goal. The invisibles use their knowledge by making for example, knives, arrows … but the Westerns use it for big investment such as building a dam.
Actually, our Tommy has been kidnapped while watching his father directing the construction of a huge dam. When the invisible people see the young boy, they figure out he would be better off with them rather than with The Termite People. The name given to the white men,greedy developers, who seem to devour and destroy all the trees as the termite insect. As a conclusion of the meaning of technology, the westerns enjoy using the technology because it helps them to develop and have better life.
But, the invisibles disagree with it and can do miracles to stay safe from termite people. You can see that in the end of the movie when Tommy prays for frogs believing that when frogs sing it rains. And rains will make a flood that could tear down the almost complete dam. It’s one of the art of fusion with spirits revealed in the culture of the invisibles, such as merging with spirit of an eagle, to know the place of the Emerald stones and get them to camouflage their appearance.
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As Tomme was raised by the invisibles, he becomes one of them. And at a certain point, he had to go through specific rite of passage so he can become a man. The point being that, if he manages to survive an ordeal – which is letting kind of insects (aunts) bites him without fighting it all night long and dipping him in the water for renewal (like baptism) –, he will then become a true man, ready to take on the real world.
After that, he was sent to hunt for the special stones and it is in this quest that Tomme and his real father, Bill, crossed path again. Tomme found him wounded and brought him back to the tribe. He asked the chief of the tribe to help healing Bill. And that’s another power that only the chief can use it. He is able to suck any disease out of someone and blend with a spirit useful to have a powerful protection in advance. Bill go better and had also the chance to attend Tomme’s wedding ceremony.
Actually, when one of the invisible tribe would like to get married, he has to give some sacred rocks to his father in law and is supposed to knock out his future wife in front of the villagers, then carry her off into the forest and celebrate the ceremony. Compared to traditions of the wedding night, the funeral ceremonies are totally different. When one of them dies, they used to burn the body and mix the ashes and blood together and drink it one by one. Why? Because the think, y drinking the mixing, they will keep the soul of the dead inside them and never forget it. I really don’t blame Tommy for deciding living the rest of his life in the forest. Why? Because the human need that appear to bring happiness are Autonomy – Feeling that your activities are self chosen – , competence – feeling that you are effective – , relatedness – feeling a sense of closeness –, and self esteem. In our deep heart, we know that popularity, money or luxury won’t make us happy because none of these can buy love, personality or intelligence.
According to Sigmund Freud, there is no way to be truly happy but believes, in general, that happiness is every person’s goal in life, however, there are different social factors that negatively affect a person’s happiness. These include love, sexuality ( Eros ), ourselves, control, death and aggression ( Thanatos ) . Eros is an instinct that leads to reproduction and Thanatos in another instinct that leads to destruction. And this is exactly how the lifestyle of the invisible people is. They love each other, they care about each other, they marry and have children and die at the end.
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They live without control of any other part, so we can say that they are less repressive than our own culture. Otherwise, civilized humans feel that they are overpowered by nature. Although in many ways we have conquered nature with modern technological advancement, there is still anxiety and question of the unknown as well as evolution itself. Many times, our own personal relations can make one unhappy. Love, friendships, and family all can have both a positive and negative affect on happiness, depending if a person’s individual needs are satisfied.
Lastly, society itself can cause unhappiness over law and control. The laws of a civilization reflect the needs of a society as a whole, not the individual person only. To be honest, I don’t imagine myself living with the invisible people, especially in the most dangerous forest of the world. Even, they seem to be more sincere and straight than us, I would prefer to live in civilization, wearing clothes, having a real house and a car to move wherever I want, getting a good education and having the opportunity to travel and discover other places in all over the world.
I can’t live in a place where there is no safety and security, anytime you can get hurt by enemies, like animals, insects or other tribes. Otherwise, we can learn many things from their culture. And the most important thing is they never give up or lose hope and tend to find other ways to survive, help and protect each other. They also have the ability to adapt to changes, they can move from place to place without even thinking to what they can face on their unknown way. And, I’m pretty sure that they can be useful to recovery many medical conditions.