Posted March 11, 2009 from Cameroon


I once watched a movie about the mid nineties I can’t remember the title but I can recall the terrifying scenes and this movie was base on a true life story. The setting was in the Amazon and the lady who was narrating her story backed the camera at the end giving an update of her present life. Although at the time I was not much in to gender issues some of the scenes were not only terrifying but left me cold witnessing the torture women go through in the name of tradition.

Actually, according to the plot this lady was an America student and her family had a plantation business in the Amazon. Her paternal uncle was also involved in the business. She was on vacation and went to spend it with her family. They were in their boat having fun when they where shut with this poisonous arrow blown from a bamboo that some primitive tribes use to shoot. Her parents were killed but she was unconscious.

The primitive tribe around the area still dresses up with just some cloths tied around the waist to cover just their butts, same with the women only that the older women cover their breast too. One of the warriors was out fishing and hunting as such witnessed the scene. He then went to check the family in the boat, by their tradition he chopped off the head of the girls death parents and then realizing the girl was still alive took her to their village for treatment.

When she gained consciousness she found her self in this strange environment. Actually the person who found her was considered a very brave warrior in the village, the girls wished to know what happened and her parent’s whereabouts but they could not understand her language. Sensing she might be inquiring about her parents they took her to where they had hung her parent’s heads and she cried. All she knew was that the villagers had killed her parents, judging from the poisonous arrow. That was the picture the real killers wanted to portray that the barbaric primitive people had kill an entire family.

This people lived in thatched huts. To prevent themselves from insect bites they have a natural repellent – just a plant in the forest they squeeze and apply on their bodies. When they need to fish, they also squeeze a plant in the water and the fishes around die and come to the water surface.

All this girl knew was that this people were dangerous and she needs to find a way out. The warrior who found her was interested in her along with the village wealthiest man. The warrior as usual went off to hunt and that was when the wealthy man got the girl to his hut to make her his after informing their Chief. Upon trying to force himself on her as the girl was struggling he discovered she was a virgin. He immediately leapt from her cursing.

By their tradition it is a taboo for a man to have intercourse with a virgin, because a man is not to see a woman’s blood flow. As such women undergo a ritual to loose their virginity. There is a woman who performs this ritual. The virgin is held down by other women while the assigned woman uses a special cudgel and drive it through her vagina, thence she is ready to copulate.

By their tradition the dispute of two men over a woman is resolved in a duel. The warrior then challenged the rich man and got the girl. Women in the village when they have menstrual flow they are to stay in a high hut in the bush away from the village. It was during this time this girl met one of the village girls who could speak and understand English. It was then she understood her uncle actually killed her parents to take over the business. She was supposed to be killed too.

One day while they were searching for food she heard a noise overheard and saw an helicopter she was rushing to get to an open space to wave at it for them to come to her rescue, but she instead heard gunshots, her husband grabbed her and took her under cover. She could not belief what she saw. The helicopter landed and some men came out took the bodies of those they had killed. She felt sick because she considered these primitive people as barbarians and villains meanwhile the people she knew were civilized were instead the villains. As she was informed, they always come and kill this primitive people to use their bodies for research purposes.

The movie ended with the girl deciding to avenge her parent’s death, she had set her mind on it and she intended doing it by herself, but for her to kill ends her relationship with her husband whom she now loved knowing he saved her life and also felt protected by his bravery. It was a taboo for women to kill. She was escorted to their house by boat and she realized the story she was told was genuine since her uncle and wife had occupied their house. At night she quietly surprised her uncle and wife in her parent’s bedroom, after getting the gun her father kept hidden in the living room. She made sure she got them up so they could see her and despite their pleas she shot them. Her husband waiting paddled her to where she could board a bigger boat to travel back to the US. Behind the camera at the end of the movie, the real person whose experience was narrated said she is now married with kids but would never forget her primitive husband.

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