Pacha Kuti: Return of the Machiguenga


Pacha Kuti: Return of the Machiguenga is a feature length documentary that gives voice to indigenous Machiguenga people, currently driven out of their homeland in Manú National Park of Peruvian Amazon as a result of corporate and corrupt government interests. At unprecedented risk of extinction is Machiguenga people's precious knowledge of rainforest plants. Their knowledge gives the modern world hope to cure previously incurable diseases while at the same time urges humanity to evolve into a new relationship with mother Earth.

Following the invitation from Machiguenga tribe elders, four westerners travel to Peruvian Amazon with intention to understand and share the Machiguenga message with the modern world. Their guides are Jabin – a Spanish-born Machiguenga-adopted curandero, and Melchior – a Machiguenga elder and medicine man. The journey takes the team on an adventure into the world of plant intelligence, jungle spirits and ancient knowledge, with hopes to bring new tools of consciousness for modern world.

Filmmaker Bio(s)

Anna Fishkin (writer/director/producer) was born in Minsk, Belarus and grew up in the former Soviet Union where years of dance and ballet training shaped her future interest in photography. During teenage years, her family left behind everything they knew and immigrated to United States as political refugees. The experience involved a poverty-stricken life in the eternal city of Rome while waiting to be granted asylum in America. This left a profound impression on her psyche and as she learned how to function in the new Western system, Anna's creative expression shifted to the more solitary activity of drawing and painting.

During university years at University of Wisconsin-Madison, Anna continued to moonlight as an illustrator, making technical architecture and archeology pen-and-ink drawings for book and magazine publications. Later she transferred to Columbia College in Chicago to study graphic design and photography. Still feeling unfulfilled after a successful decade-long career in advertising, she began modest exploration of acting and creative writing courses at University of Chicago. The resulting inner discoveries led to a graduation from commercial life and a subsequent move to Tulum, Mexico. While reinventing herself as a photographer on Mexican Caribbean coast, Anna traveled extensively throughout Mexico exploring its hidden corners and deep mysteries. Yet always persisting on continued dialog with the developed world, she spent almost half her time in New York City, pursuing assisting work and learning from photography masters Bill Phelps and Bjorn Wallander, who remain important friends and mentors.

Currently based in Mexico City and Tulum, Anna's photography work is focused on showcasing the simple elegance and honest luxury of a life-style connected to beauty of nature. She continues to travel all over the world and recently began production work on a new documentary film project in Peruvian Amazon region.

Reed Rickert (director/cinematographer) is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and cinematographer fluent in English and Spanish. Reed has produced, directed, photographed and edited various documentaries, commercials, TV programs and corporate films in the USA, Mexico, France, Morocco and Spain. He is producer, director and editor of The Third Root, winner of the Latino Public Broadcasting Open Call Award, which had its world premiere at the Guadalajara International Film Festival 2016. Notable recent credits include director, DP & editor of Walila: The Modern Sound of North African Sacred Music (HIIDA Award winner, official selection at Amsterdam Lift-Off Film Festival & Bucharest Short Film Festival) and The Carnatic Cornet (Official selection at Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival).

Reed produced, directed and filmed Trazando la Aventura [Tracing the Adventure], an adventure web series co-produced with Ford Motor Company of Mexico and TV Azteca. He was director, DP and editor of Sacerdotisa del Mezcal and director of Muxe – two 30-minute TV documentaries for Mexican national TV. He was camera operator for the Latin Grammy Award winner for best long-format music video documentary 2014, El objeto antes llamado el disco, directed by Gregory Allen. Reed has been a live concert videographer for KISS, Mumford & Sons, Iron Maiden, Ariana Grande, Simply Red, Cafe Tacvba and many more. He was a division I soccer player for University of Maryland before going on to graduate from California College of the Arts in Oakland, CA with a BFA in Film / Video. He is an avid rock climber and adventure sports content producer, and co-founder of Bumi Films and Amate Films.
Film Details
  • Country(ies): USA
  • Language(s): English, Spanish
  • Year: 2017
  • Running time: 90
  • Director(s): Anna Fishkin, Reed Rickert
  • Producer(s): Anna Fishkin, Wiky Cisneros, Aviv Siso
  • Cinematographer(s): Reed Rickert, Anna Fishkin
  • Website:

FSP 1581