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Rob Sullivan

To Bruce and the Amazon

Posted from: Belem

We've done it. We've reached the port of Belem, the gateway of the Amazon, where the mighty river finally meets the Atlantic Ocean. There was a great atmosphere on the boat as we pulled into port at sunrise. Everyone's thoughts are naturally turning towards home, and despite the weeks of exhaustion there's a lovely light feeling in the air.

Though he is quietly smiling, Bruce seems pretty spaced-out and in some kind of state of mild shock: after nine months on the river, I don't think he can quite get his head round the fact that it's all over.

Bruce and film crew in the Amazon
Bruce and the team film in the greatest river on Earth.

We shot the last scene of the series on the beach where the river meets the ocean. Bruce walked straight into the water fully-clothed and went for a swim in the Atlantic. After finally turning off the cameras, we jumped in the water too, and felt the cool currents of the ocean intermingled with the warm freshwater of the Amazon. It did occur to me briefly that the warm currents were probably raw sewage, but I didn't want to spoil the moment, especially as Bruce had just swallowed some on camera.

To a casual bystander on the beach it must have been a strange sight: a film crew walking into the river, lots of hugs and cheers, and a cool-box with champagne ready for our final toast: to Bruce, and to the Amazon!

Bruce toasts his journey down the Amazon


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  • 1. At 6:15pm on 17 Sep 2008, Luke2500 wrote:

    Dear Bruce

    May I just say well done for travelling in the Amazon a very diverse and interesting adventure.

    I have found your documentary of the Amazon very interesting. Regarding your explanation of the Amazon in the countries it covers you have forgotten two other countries that shares the Amazon being Venezuela and the Southern region of Colombia.

    Keep it up and all the best.

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  • 2. At 02:56am on 22 Sep 2008, megadethdomo wrote:

    Hello all,fantastic what you have achived!
    I love history,music,current affairs etc but I was a narcotic user for a long time so I feel a need to know where it all comes from.after watching the first program and seeing the blessings and warm reception you were given by those who had so little but gave all they could,it almost brought me to tears,the world of drugs is pure greed and yet at the scource is innocence and humanity.The so called civalised west and other developed countries with money and full infrastructure should watch this and hang their heads in shame.But I very much doubt that will happen as they are too busy with taking narcotics,dealing,or just dont care.I feel really strongly about these issues and your program has me captivated.Thank you so much I will watch all of it.Peace to you all from Dominic.Stoke on trent.

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  • 3. At 00:50am on 29 Sep 2008, purpleblogm wrote:

    Hi Bruce,

    Just wanted to say well done!
    I have very much enjoyed the programs so far and I look forward to seeing the future episodes.
    I think the work you and all the people involved with the project are doing is crucial in highlighting issues that are ultimately important to every human being on the planet.
    I can't start to imagine what an emotional journey you all must have made.

    All the Best for the future


    West Yorkshire

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  • 4. At 10:20pm on 13 Oct 2008, mrramsing wrote:

    dear bruce
    what an amazing programme, i have been in love with south america since i heard of the amazon rain forest as a child.
    i have travelled in brazil and other parts of south america.
    i must say you show a honest and beautiful picture of the people of the different countries.
    it is inspiring to watch and hopefully this series will have positive ramification for all the people you have touched and help stop deforestation.

    i look forward to seeing the rest of the episodes.

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  • 5. At 10:14pm on 20 Oct 2008, leftwonderinh wrote:

    I agree with all the positive comments left by others..
    But I am left wondering what is happening today to all the issues Bruce & the team have highlighted.
    Will we see a follow up programme?

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  • 6. At 10:17pm on 20 Oct 2008, RickyPayaso wrote:

    Thank you Bruce

    That last program really did. I finally started putting myself in the peoples place and felt how frightening it is for them loosing their forest, culture and way of life.

    I still dont know what I can do but I will think about and maybe even go there.

    Cheers Bruce

    Hope you are doing well after that huge mission

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  • 7. At 10:25pm on 20 Oct 2008, foxieboxie wrote:

    Dear Bruce and the production team, what a fascinating series Amazon has been. My son (aged 14) and I have been glued to this every Monday, this was especially relevant to him having done a big project covering the same subjects last year in school. As one sole individual I feel so helpless to do anything that can make a positive change to the negative situations Bruce highlighted, I guess awareness is a start?
    Thank you BBC for bringing such an interesting series to our screens and for having such a top class presenter to portray every angle.

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  • 8. At 10:29pm on 20 Oct 2008, sensibleAmazon wrote:

    Dear Bruce & Team

    Thank you for taking us with you on such a fantastic journey through the amazon. But what is going to be done to really help the indigenous people to keep their way of life now, and for future generations. Or will it be as always, money and profit, then the people. It seems a shame that we have seen this journey take place, listened to the facts, but who is reaaly going to help these people in the end. Having said that, once again, thank you to you and the team for taking us there.

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  • 9. At 10:52pm on 20 Oct 2008, nick_whieldon wrote:

    Dear Bruce and team,
    I think i have enjoyed your series on the amazon more than any other documentary i have seen this year. Its been great to learn so much about the amazon basin, its people, and the diverse problems that exist. All to often you think about destruction of forest etc but can never really put a picture to it. I hope your programs can help in some way help preserve this fantastic place.
    Thank you and the bbc.
    Nick Whieldon, Wirral

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  • 10. At 10:54pm on 20 Oct 2008, marcrivett wrote:

    To all involved with this amazing series.

    I watched your other Tribe series, but didn't know quite what to expect from Amazon.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the whole journey from start to finish.

    I hope that the voices of the people in the film will be heard by those who really can make a difference, as it will benefit us all.

    Finally just to say.
    Thank you for making something worth watching on t.v.

    Hopefully more to come!


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  • 11. At 11:05pm on 20 Oct 2008, jonbrodel wrote:

    Dear Bruce Perry and Amazon Team

    Thank you for taking me with you on this fantastic important journey. Yours is one of the warmest and most profound documentary programs I have ever seen. You touched my heart, and I think that what you have achieved will truly help the cause of justice for these wonderful peoples.
    What you shared about your ahawasca experience was more true and sincere than any other comment I have seen from a documentary report. I rate your reportage up there with "The Elder Brothers Warning" .. perhaps you could persuade the BBC to show that again too.
    Blessings to you and your wonderful crew.
    I believe that you have crafted a powerful prayer for justice in the world. You have certainly cast some light of hope into my troubled heart...

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  • 12. At 11:47am on 21 Oct 2008, jar1980 wrote:

    Hi Bruce and the team

    Just finished wathchin the last episode on I player,

    Just wanted to say i me and my girlfreind found the whole thing amazing from start to finish and monday nights will definatly be missing the best show on TV.

    BRUCE PARRY is a HERO in our home and i find everything he does a class above all other TV

    My hat goes off also to all of the other team members who dont get the acolades like bruce, thanks very much to all of you for this last 6 weeks veiwing.

    Jamie & Sal

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  • 13. At 2:09pm on 21 Oct 2008, rhynmount wrote:

    Hi Bruce,
    Loved your trip to the Amazon. Would like to ask you a question regarding what is happening to the indigenous people living there - are you bringing their requests and hopes to the relevant people, so that they can live without fear and in harmony with their surroundings. Laws instigated by the government have and are being broken and yet the government is doing nothing. This is a human rights issue and someone should be fighting for these amazing people, who are trying to protect their homes and at the same time their sustainable way of live has an affect on the rest of the world which we are slowly destroying and we should be doing more to see that their rights are upheld.

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  • 14. At 5:46pm on 21 Oct 2008, AmazonMyriam wrote:

    Dear Team,

    Great series, would you be producing a DVD?

    I also would like to contact the team regarding the project Amazon Viva! that we are planning for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. The project is being planed over a year ago and we are now getting funding applications in place to make it possible. It is a journey in the world of the Amazon, including dance, music and carnival culture. We also want to facilitate the debate for the protection of the Amazon. It would be fantastic that this project can work in collaboration with organisations interested in widening this debate in the UK and the world.

    Please email me [Personal details removed by Moderator] if you would like to contribute to this project. We would be immensely grateful.

    Yours sincerely,

    Myriam Ojeda-Patiño
    Arte Latino Cutural Project
    [Personal details removed by Moderator]

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  • 15. At 05:24am on 22 Oct 2008, PazuzuBlows wrote:

    Hello to the team and Bruce,

    First and foremost I wanted to say "Great Job!"
    The series Amazon is a superbly produced and informative piece of work.
    The last episode with the Kayapo really brought home the fight that the indigenous peoples of the Amazon are facing and I shall be researching a lot more into their struggle.
    Also, I wanted to say I found the balance of the series refreshing. It was great to hear from the loggers and gold prospectors, and to bring home that these people, at the lowest levels are simply honest folk doing what they need to do to feed and clothe their family. The entrepreneur lady in the gold town deserves a particular mention in this respect!!
    Best wishes for any future projects,

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  • 16. At 08:30am on 23 Oct 2008, SANDRO_FONTES wrote:

    hello Bruce, i m Braziliam and i live in oxford-uk, im so proud of you... you have no idea how much, see everythink from England make me very special, obrigado por tudo e pela forma como voce tratou o meu povo e mostrou a realidade do meu pais, ver essa reportagem como foi feita me fez torna se seu fan, e de pessoas como voce que esse mundo precissa, so de lhe enviar estar mensagem estou muito emocionado e ao mesmo tempo muito feliz de saber que ainda existem pessoas como voce, lhe desejo toda felicidade do mundo do fundo do meu coracao, obrigado abracos. sandro fontes ( THE BEST DOCUMENTARY FROM BRASIL, MY COUNTRY. THANK'S BRUCE YOU ARE SPECIAL)

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  • 17. At 01:56am on 24 Oct 2008, sparkson wrote:

    Thank you Bruce Parry for such as brilliant, informative series.

    The desperate state of the Amazon rainforest came across far more than in the statistics we get about deforestation and its effects on global warming. The rainforests are the lungs of the world, and the destruction of the Amazon rainforest is a threat to us all.

    The simple directness, lack of guile and natural decency of the Kayapo contrast starkly with the greed and cynicism in the developed world. Their respect for the environment and non-destructive lifestyle is shared by many of the old, indigenous peoples in other countries who have been decimated to make way for the land-grabbers and developers.

    Looking at the effects of Western-style wealth, power and corruption on the Native North Americans and the Australian Aborgines, it is hard to believe that the Kayapo and their beautiful reserve will be allowed to remain unchanged.

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  • 18. At 01:57am on 24 Oct 2008, sparkson wrote:

    Thank you Bruce Parry for such a brilliant, informative series.

    The desperate state of the Amazon rainforest came across far more than in the statistics we get about deforestation and its effects on global warming. The rainforests are the lungs of the world, and the destruction of the Amazon rainforest is a threat to us all.

    The simple directness, lack of guile and natural decency of the Kayapo contrast starkly with the greed and cynicism in the developed world. Their respect for the environment and non-destructive lifestyle is shared by many of the old, indigenous peoples in other countries who have been decimated to make way for the land-grabbers and developers.

    Looking at the effects of Western-style wealth, power and corruption on the Native North Americans and the Australian Aborgines, it is hard to believe that the Kayapo and their beautiful reserve will be allowed to remain unchanged.

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  • 19. At 4:52pm on 25 Oct 2008, Sapatinhos wrote:

    To Bruce & crew!
    What an amazing and emotional program! I am Brazilian and have been in England for 20 years. I felt that for the first time a program showed a side of Brazil that was extremely important to show to make people aware of what is happening in that region. I sincerely hope that after your program something good will happen to save the forest and help the people that live around it, especially the indians. Bruce, what an incredible human being you are!!! We Love you! Congratulations!
    Renata Russell, London

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  • 20. At 8:49pm on 28 Oct 2008, Betobrazil wrote:

    Hi Bruce

    I'm brazialian and I was so happy to know that a documentary was going to be shown on TV regarding what we have the most precious in Brazil, our Amazon Forest. After few episodes I've got really upset and ashamed about what people are doing to our Amazon. But at the same time, on behalf of all Brazilians who really cares, I'd like to thank you to show to the world what's really going on there. Also a big thanks for your crew.
    I'm from South of Brazil and you showed me a side of Amazon that I didn't know about. The real Amazon forest which has been hidden from us. We all have an idea about what's going on but we didn't know how deep the problems are over there... but thankfuly... someone brave enough had the courage to spend time and to record on video how bad is the situation and show it to the world the Amazon's native people cry out for help. One of the great moments during the documentary was when you were adopted by the native's family. Tears came into my eyes. Once again thank you for the great job. Hope some of the world most influenced men had seen it and do something quickly to help to save our Amazon. Please get in touch via email. Would be great to exchange some ideas and informations. All the best to you Bruce and to your crew.


    Roberto (Rugby - Warwickshire)

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  • 21. At 6:08pm on 31 Oct 2008, BSAKGeo wrote:

    Hi Bruce

    You are a great Ambassador for the UK and the civilised portion of the western world in my opinion and it is very obvious that such grass roots down to earth people of the planet see this too and embrace you and your philosophy so to speak of the world.
    The tribes holding off the impending destruction of the settlers as they did in the wild west asked you to air their plight.
    As a result of watching your programme, I now refuse to buy Brasil beef, (as well as cocaine), and I hope many others will do the same, which hopefully helps the ecosystem and tribes maintain their way of life.
    How do you feed this back to the people of the Amazon making them aware of the impact on others of your time there?



    Abu Dhabi

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  • 22. At 1:58pm on 03 Nov 2008, Amazonteam wrote:

    Message from the Amazon team:

    Thank you very much for your interest in the Amazon and the many issues which arose as a result of the programme. To find out more about the Amazon and some of the many organisations which are active in the Amazon, visit this page:

    Thank you
    The Amazon team

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  • 23. At 8:41pm on 18 Nov 2008, footballandzizo wrote:

    Hey Bruce, you are the real Indiana Jones of our day, i watched your shows on repeat every tuesday at 5.00 in the morning, it really set me off for the day, i have always loved south america, its music, food and weather and all that exotic feeling to it, im still young but as soon as iam independent, i will visit it, anyway hope you read this and i hope you will carry on shows like this.


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  • 24. At 4:31pm on 02 Jan 2009, martinperrett wrote:

    Having watched your programmes and just returned from the Equadar Amazon I would like to add a couple of comments.
    1) Tourism could help save some of the rainforest. We stayed at Napo Wildlife Center which is run by the local tribe. All the local men work at the centre which means they don't have to travel and stay away from their families working for the oil companies like other tribes men do. It has also stopped them letting the oil companies prospect for oil on their land. They hope this will provide their families with a future. They are very keen that this project will work and have other tribes interested in following their example.
    2)The action of taking drink or food that makes you sick is a way of exercising your diaphram muscles. These are used when you blow a blowpipe and that is why they do it. One of the local 'tribesmen' explained this to us. I don't recall this explanation on your program.

    Some photos of our trip can be found here

    Martin Perrett
    Supply Imaging Limited

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  • 25. At 7:49pm on 15 Feb 2009, marc1954 wrote:

    what i can say about the program on the Amazone,wonderfull.
    the first time i went to Brazil I stayed in the Amazone territory for a few weeks.came back a year later en the years after.stayed in the goldmines 200 km from Itaituba,travelled the amazone with an indian guide,spent some time on the river and visited some of the areas in the Amazone.Adventure and sometimes dangerous. But what i saw from Bruce his program was since Cousteau travelled the area. untill now some of the people own thousands of hectares of lmand and continu destroying the area. I always had a lot of intrest in the Amazone territory and keep on folowing the news about it. one worde for it,terrible what is going on there. and not only the things you see in the program.
    in the ten voyages i made I toke about 14,000 pictures and i think the time has com to make a book from it. only time is what I don't have a lot.
    but for Bruce and his crew congratulations for what he shows
    I live in Belgium,my name is Marc

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  • 26. At 5:21pm on 16 Jun 2009, Byskov wrote:

    Hi Bruce,

    While I´m all for saving the Amazon rain forest I think that we might bear in mind that once all of Britain, indeed all of Europe, was covered in forest and that the forest was cleared here in order for people to cultivate the land. I find it problematic to say to people who want to make a living that they cannot do what we ourselves have done. It smacks of hypocrisy. As does indeed deploring that the forest is felled in order to give space for meat production. If you don´t agree with that, then don´t eat meat! One very good way to reduce the release of CO2 and to prevent more rain forest from being felled is to say no to meat. Meat is murder - of both beast and forest.

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