Keep the River on Your Right (2000)


Critic Consensus: Keep the River on Your Right places the spotlight on a fascinating individual, Tobias Schneebaum.


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Movie Info

In 1955, artist, author, and anthropologist Tobias Schneebaum fulfilled a life-long dream by visiting the jungles of Peru. Seven months later, the New York native returned with remarkable tales of living with a tribe of cannibals, watching their murderous raids on other tribes, and even eating human flesh with them. In 1999, Schneebaum returned to Peru at the age of 78 with a camera crew in tow in hopes of finding the cannibals he lived with many years before. While Schneebaum prepares for his journey, he lectures on the rituals and lifestyles of indigenous peoples, shares his views on homosexuality and open marriage among the natives of West Papua (in one sequence, Schneebaum, who is gay, is reunited with a tribesman who became his lover), and shows footage from his expedition with the Asmat people, who are believed to have attacked and eaten Michael Rockefeller in 1961. Keep the River on Your Right: A Modern Cannibal Tale was shown at the 2000 L.A. Independent Film Festival.

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Critic Reviews for Keep the River on Your Right

All Critics (50) | Top Critics (20)

The Shapiros ... ultimately reveal a frail but mentally robust old man whose gnawing hunger for knowledge led him to shun a safe, comfortable career in art for a series of radically transformative experiences at the world's edges.

Oct 28, 2002 | Full Review…

A fascinating if somewhat unfocused documentary.

Oct 11, 2001

Schneebaum, a dull and helpless-looking nonentity at first glance, proves to be an amazingly courageous, inquisitive, remarkable man.

Aug 10, 2001

There's no denying the warmth of Schneebaum's encounters, or his engaging nature. Or the fact that you've never seen a documentary quite like this one, and aren't likely to again.

May 25, 2001
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Makes for fascinating, compelling viewing.

May 21, 2001

What begins as a curious document, then, evolves into something more.

May 14, 2001 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Keep the River on Your Right

Tobias Schneebaum certainly engaged in some interesting research on indigenous tribes and their views on homosexuality and marriage but this film was centred on his return to the areas of his initial study..which makes it slightly dull. Perhaps the focus could have been placed on the research rather than a nostalgic trip.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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