Run time: 71 Minutes

Copyright date ©2008

Closed Captioned

Portions in other languages with

English subtitles​

To purchase or stream the full version of The Trees Have a Mother click here 

The Trees Have a Mother

The Trees Have a Mother (2008) is a documentary film by Juan Carlos Galeano, co-produced by Professor Valliere Richard Auzenne and Florida State University. The film documents the true story of a mother searching for her son who has disappeared in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon rainforest. Her quest is told against the backdrop of Amazonian cosmological views expressed by forest, riverbank and city dwellers who believe in the existence of the supernatural world. As the mother consults local shamans about the fate of her son, stories about close encounters and relationships among humans, dolphins and mythological creatures from the forest and underwater world propel the film. Their tales are metaphorical of the physical and socio-cultural transformations of Amazonia. Contrasting current practices of Westerners seeking to demystify nature through deforestation and an increasing search for commodities in the Amazon Basin, this documentary gives ample exposure to people's trust in the power of sacred and medicinal plants which are able to bring comfort to spiritual unrest and benefit physical health. Accounts of daily life and their concern about the destruction of their environment reveal a heartfelt hope for the survival of the forests and of humankind.

"The Trees Have a Mother is essential viewing for anyone concerned with the Amazonian environment and its inhabitants. At once an important work of cultural anthropology, a nature documentary, and plea for environmental justice, this film provides a perfect introduction to this uniquely beautiful and threatened landscape, and the people, cultures and histories that have shaped it, and been shaped by it.”

—Paul Outka
University of Kansas

Author of Race and Nature from Transcendentalism to the Harlem Renaissance2013 ASLE President 


"In The Trees Have a Mother, Juan Carlos Galeano captures the belief system of Amazonians in the stories of hunters, fishermen, small town and riverine city dwellers. Their tales about dolphins, other aquatic seducers, and a spirit guardian of the forest who falls in love and kidnaps a young lad, bring together elements of mystery, healing and hope for an Amazonian mother in search of her lost son. A documentary about Amazonians' expressions of affect for their land, the film illustrates their regard for rivers, lakes, stones, trees and places as sentient. Their perception of nature as more than mere commodity springs communal ecologically engaged resistance toward oil and logging companies. Viewers of this film must let go of Western rationalities and the urban mind and acquire ways to perceive our more than human world from the environmental imaginations of Amazonians.”

—Roberto Forns-Broggi
Metropolitan State University of Denver
Author of Nudos como estrellas. ABC de la imaginación ecológica de nuestras Américas

Amazonia

This book is a poetic representation of the human condition through re-mythologization of various animals, plants, rivers and peoples of the Amazon region in the midst of current physical and cultural transformations taking place in the area.

Yakumama (And Other Mythical Beings)

Poetry & Folklore

The poems presented in this small collection are a re-mythologization of supernatural animals, plants, and creatures of the Amazon basin.

Cuentos Amazonicós

Juan Carlos Galeano escuchó los cuentos de la selva durante su niñez en el Amazonas y decide regresar un día a escribirlos. Su búsqueda lo lleva a viajar por todos los países de la cuenca amazónica para encontrarse con los relatos de viva voz de pescadores, madereros, cazadores, gentes de las aldeas ribereñas e indígenas en contacto con la vida moderna. Reconstruyéndolos, a partir de múltiples versiones y fragmentos, el autor conserva la sencillez con que todavía los cuentan los pobladores de la Amazonia.

Estos cuentos amazónicos de Juan Carlos Galeano comienzan con claras coordenadas fluviales y de ahí van fluyendo hacia el inconsciente humano, donde existe una mayor fluidez entre las especies y las palabras que usamos para narrar los misterios de la vida y los desequilibrios ecológicos que nosotros mismos hemos causado. Estas historias no tienen patria, pues los lectores son navegantes de sueños lúcidos que se llaman Amazonas, Beni, Huallaga, Içá, Madeira, Madre de Dios, Nanay, Napo, Pachitea, Pastaza, Putumayo y Yavarí con su rica diversidad de flora y fauna establecidas, cada vez más amenazadas, y presentadas aquí con todo su esplendor. Si, después de leer este libro imprescindible, no crees en la urgente necesidad del reencantamiento del mundo, te queda un lamento planetario que nace en la cuenca amazónica: Ayaymama, Ayaymama, huischurchurca, lo cual quiere decir, Madrecita, Madrecita, ¿por qué nos has abandonado? ”

—Steven F. White
St. Lawrence University
Co-editor of Ayahuasca Reader: Encounters with the Amazon's Sacred Vine and editor de El consumo de lo que somos: muestra de poesía ecológica hispánica contemporánea