The film “Medicine Man” gives a very clear indication of the consequences of habitat destruction. In the film, a professor and his research assistant sets out to find a plant that holds the cure of cancer, only to have it destroyed by land clearing in the Amazon Basin. The land clearing also severely disrupts the peaceful, sustainable lifestyle of a tribe of natives and a huge amount of flora and fauna. It shows us the damage we wrought with our deforestation on a slightly exaggerated, nut no less effective scale.
The main idea of the film is to show habitat destruction and its impacts on the environment. It succeeds in showing the rapid rate at which logging and land–clearing is taking place. Such human activities impact heavily on the native flora, fauna and people. The natives are unable to adjust to their deteriorating environment, as a result, the flora and fauna are completely wiped out and the indigenous people are either forced to move to other parts of the forest or into the city. One of these options heightens the competition between tribes and animals for resources while the other is totally unrealistic, as most native people have no education and do not have the skills to survive city life. Wealthy corporations usually commission such land–clearings and use the land for farming. However they do not think about the native plants, animals and people who have more right to the land than they do.
... The disgust that Charles felt for Konola and the native people quickly faded when he was forced to see what ... the story. He knew very little about the native people and his ignorance and lack of compassion for them ... giving one. It changed his outlook on the native people and on how he treated others. In the ... only greatly impacted the way he viewed native people, it changed what kind of person he was. ...
The film also highlights the difference between the city modern, city lifestyle and the lifestyle of the native people. The people of the city live more luxuriously than the native people, but their lifestyle is not sustainable. The “city people” suck their environment dry in order to gain their creature comforts, while the native people make a minimal impact on their environment, only taking what they need. The environment can cope with the impacts made by the indigenous people but not the city dwellers. As a result, the environment in which we live is heavily polluted whereas that of the indigenous people is not.
The film also makes a subtle point about biodiversity. In a rainforest such as the Amazon, countless different species can be found in a relatively small area. Some of these species are found only in that area. Therefore by clearing the forest without investigating the flora and fauna first could result in extinction of a species. For example, in the film the plant and the species of ant that holds the key to the cure of cancer had never been found anywhere else in the world. So the destruction of that part of the rainforest could well have meant genocide of the two species. If it was real life instead of a movie we could have missed the chance to save millions of lives in a single careless moment.
Logging and land clearing is now executed much more carefully than before by most countries, but it still is not enough. Especially when some countries are still logging the old fashioned way. However, even if all countries realise now the dangers of cutting down trees mindlessly, it may never be possible for the forests to fully recover.