Role: Producer / Editor / Colorist

SHAKI
In 1964, anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon parted his wife and children, boarded a steamship, and sailed to live amongst the largest uncontacted tribe in South America. Often referred to as "Indiana Jones," deep in the Amazon basin, Chagnon studied the last gasp of the tribal world.

After spending years among the Yanomamö people of Venezuela, Chagnon published his findings that singlehandedly rocked the world of anthropology – he asserted that human behavior could be determined by genetics. For years, he watched how Yanomamö warriors who killed the most would also father the most children.

As Chagnon's success spread rapidly around the world, jealous colleagues conspired against him. In 2000, polemical book Darkness in El Dorado accused Chagnon of causing a measles epidemic that killed thousands of Yanomamö. Chagnon’s professional reputation plummeted, and so did his health, forever ending the possibility of one day returning to the Amazon. Decades later he’s found himself still at the frontlines of academic warfare.

Working the midnight hours for over six months, I edited this extended trailer from 20 hours of interview material, 10 hours of archival footage, and hundreds of scanned book pages from Chagnon's work.


Director: Caitlin Machak
Producers: Sebastian Junger & Nick Quested
Director of Photography: Alfredo Alcántara

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EXTENDED TRAILER