AYA AWAKENINGS feature documentary
AYA: Awakenings is a feature documentary exploring the the world and visions of ayahuasca shamanism.
Produced and Directed by Timothy Parish and Rak Razam,
ABOVE: A music video teaser for AYA:AWAKENINGS, the new feature documentary produced by Undergrowth in association with Verb Studios and Icaro Press.
Music: “Ever Decreasing Circles” by Tipper.
Adapted from the cult book ‘Aya: a Shamanic Odyssey’ by Rak Razam, the film blends video, photography and animation to document the booming business of Amazonian shamanism in the 21st century, where Razam quickly finds himself caught up in a culture clash between the old world and the new. Braving a gringo trail of the soul, he uncovers a movement of ‘spiritual tourists’ coming from the West for a direct experience of the multi-dimensional reality shamanism connects one to. Central to this is ayahuasca – the “vine of souls” – a legal South American entheogenic plant medicine that has been used by Amazonian people for millennia to heal physical ailments and to cleanse and purify the spirit, connecting it to the web of life.
In researching the mystery of ayahuasca, Razam undergoes his own shamanic initiation, undergoing numerous tests and trials in the jungle and the psychic landscapes the vine reveals. On the way he encounters a motley crew of characters, from rogue scientists that conduct DMT-brain scans on jungle psychonauts to indigenous and Western shamans that slowly unravel his cultured mind and reveal the magical landscape of the spirit world. The more he drinks this potent jungle medicine the deeper it leads him: from the wet jungle where the ayahuasca vine grows and on into the raging heart of consciousness itself. His journey culminates in the Sacred Valley of the Andes, where secrets of the ancient Incas are revealed to him and the true nature of the global resurgence in shamanism is brought to light.
Through mixing narration directly from the book with video footage, interviews with practicing curanderos, samples of traditional icaros or magic songs, photographs and cutting edge special effects, AYA: Awakenings reproduces the inner landscape of the visionary state in unprecedented detail, invoking the interior journey that ayahuasca creates within those who drink this sacred medicine.
Featuring the artwork of Pablo Amaringo, Andy Debrenardi and more; written by Rak Razam and directed by Tim Parish, video editing by Verb Studios, soundscapes by Lulu Madill and music by Shpongle, Tipper, Darpan, Lula Cruz, and curanderos Norma Panduro, Guillermo Aravelo, Percy Garcia Lozano, Ron Wheelock and Kevin Furnas, this documentary charts the Global Shamanic Resurgence born in the jungles of Peru and reaching out to embrace the world.