Keep the River on Your Right (2000)



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

Keep the River on Your Right Photos

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.
R (for depiction of mature thematic material)
Documentary , Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
IFC Films

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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.

Full Review… | October 28, 2002
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

A fascinating if somewhat unfocused documentary.

October 11, 2001
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

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

August 10, 2001
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

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
San Jose Mercury News
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | May 14, 2001
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

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


the narrative flow of this film is kind of jumbled and distracting and the score is awful. also, the marketing materials for this film are kind of misleading (if you're hoping to see a movie about a guy who at any time enjoyed feasting on human flesh you'll definitely be disappointed). however, the movie does succeed in conveying the personality of it's fascinating subject, now-deceased nyc artist/anthropologist, tobias schneebaum. i plan to read up more on this guy.

Gregory Collins
Gregory Collins

This documentary has it?s interesting moments, but it suffers from a weird main person they are focusing on, plus, it?s not that he isn?t a nice person, I just didn?t fine him that likable, so therefore I did not become as engrossed as I should have.

James Higgins
James Higgins

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