|VISIT THE WEBSITE : http://www.keeptheriver.com/
The film opened in New York on March 30th, 2001 and Los Angeles and other cities April 27th, 2001. Please see the above website for details or below in our screenings section which also includes REVIEWS and AWARDS.
- Stella Artois Audience Award Citation - Melbourne International Film Festival, Australia
- Best Documentary, Newport Beach Film Festival, California
- Truer Than Fiction award from IFP/West (The Independent Feature Project West who bring you the Independent Spirit Awards)
- The Special Jury Award at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam
- Best Documentary (Golden Starfish Award)
Hamptons International Film Festival, 2000
- Special Critics Award Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, 2000
- Honorable Mention, Audience Prize - Docfest,
New York International Documentary Festival, 2000
- Audience Citation, Seattle International Film Festival, 2000
Keep the River on Your Right: A Modern Cannibal Tale tells the amazing story of 78-year old Tobias Schneebaum, one of the most charming, enigmatic and perplexing men ever captured on screen. A seemingly mild-mannered elderly Jewish New Yorker, Tobias is actually one of the most fearless adventurers of our time. On one hand he is a shy, gay art historian, giving colorful lectures on primitive art and culture to Barnard students and wealthy travelers on cruise ships. On the other, hes a squeamish man who once called on neighbor Norman Mailer to dispose of a dead mouse. But this seemingly conventional man has also lived through indeed sought out danger that would make even Indiana Jones sweat, deep in the heart of the Peruvian and Indonesian jungles. What could drive a gay Jewish painter from New York to leave friends, family and success behind to seek out and live with some of the most remote peoples on earth? Why would such a man walk alone into the jungle to join headhunters and cannibals, become adopted into their tribe, study and quite willingly participate -- in their unique sexual practices, and even go so far as to join them in a meal of human flesh?
KEEP THE RIVER ON YOUR RIGHT: A MODERN CANNIBAL TALE, produced and directed by the brother and sister team of David Shapiro and Laurie Gwen Shapiro, follows Tobias life across the decades and continents. Along the way we meet many of the people in Tobias life including relatives, colleagues, and friends including Mailer and the young author Rick Whitaker. From a supermarket in downtown New York to the heart of the Peruvian jungle, from a luxurious cruise ship bound for Indonesia to the Coney Island subway, KEEP THE RIVER ON YOUR RIGHT deftly reconstructs Tobias long, strange trip to find out...why?
"I like to put myself into positions where I become part of the landscape, part of the world." Tobias Schneebaum
Tobias Schneebaums beginnings were much the same as countless other Americans of his generation. Born on New Yorks Lower East Side, he was raised in Brooklyn, studied briefly to be a rabbi, but soon switched to painting. By the 1950s, he was a respected fixture in the New York art scene and friends with much of New Yorks literati. He had several one man shows but freely admits that the whirl of galleries and parties left him "hollow." Inspired by an exhibition of photographs of Macchu Picchu, Schneebaum applied for, and was awarded, a prestigious Fulbright grant to paint in Peru. Once there however, he soon abandoned his studies to begin a journey that still baffles many who know him. Having heard rumors of a remote mission serving the Amarakaire Indians, a people ethnographically-unknown in the West, Tobias, with no equipment, maps or footwear besides his sneakers, headed off alone into the uncharted Madre de Dios rainforest of Peru. His only directions were "keep the river on your right."
After seven months with no word, the U.S. State Department presumed he was dead. Newspaper headlines told the story of a prominent New York painter lost in the Amazon. When Schneebaum reemerged from the jungle a year later, naked and covered in body paint, no one was prepared for the truth: Tobias had not only lived with the Amarakaire and slept with the Amarakaire, but he had also participated in a hunting raid which culminated in killing and cannibalism. Fifteen years later, Tobias revealed what happened in the unforgettable and beautifully written memoir, Keep the River on Your Right, still in print to this day. But, as we see in the film, Tobias is still wrestling with the love-hate memory of his stay in the Amazon, one that seems to have kindled all of his senses and emotions profoundly, from intense ecstasy to dread and horror.
The publication of Keep the River on Your Right ignited the publics curiosity. As we see in the film, Schneebaum appeared on "The Mike Douglas Show" to promote the book, shocking his host and the audience with his tales. Despite the harrowing cannibalism incident, which prompted him to soon return to "civilization," Tobias respect and awe of the Amarakaires way of life never wavered.
After returning to New York, Schneebaum became the world's foremost expert on another tribe, the Asmat of Indonesian New Guinea. This expertise has provided Schneebaums livelihood in the last decades, his lecturing and curating supplementing social security to provide Tobias with the means to keep his small apartment and independence. In the film we see him at work, giving frank lectures about art and tribal homosexuality against the unlikely backdrop of a luxury cruise ship en route to New Guinea. The cruise makes a stop at an Indonesian island which unexpectedly happens to be in the middle of a ritual circumcision ceremony, providing more local color for the tourists but an unneeded audience for the young participants. The film crew and Tobias leave the cruise ship to venture into the remote interior of Asmat, a place he hasnt been to in years. It was in Asmat that archeologist Michael Rockefeller disappeared and is presumed to have been killed and eaten. Much to the crews surprise, they find Aipit, a former friend and lover of Schneebaums that he had presumed to be dead. The fragile reunion, lasting only a few days, of these two elderly men who couldnt seem more different if they were from other planets, is one of the most moving moments of the film.
"They say the jungle either accepts or rejects you.
Did it accept me or did I accept it?" -- Tobias Schneebaum
Although he had insisted to the filmmakers that he had no interest or intention of returning to the Peruvian jungles, Schneebaum finally agrees to return forty-five years after his haunting experience in the Amazon. Despite his reservations, Schneebaum is drawn back, the filmmaking process having stirred up so much of the past already. The journey back through the Amazon at first seems like a wild goose chase, but after careful detective work by Schneebaum and the crew, the trip yields more than Schneebaum could possibly have anticipated: six members of the original hunting party who are as shocked to see Schneebaum as he is to see them. Schneebaum has come full circle and the experience seems to bring him peace.
Back in New York, on the Coney Island boardwalk, Schneebaum recounts a story that is quite possibly his "rosebud." He relates the incredible childhood memory of seeing a sideshow attraction called the Wild Man of Borneo. Caged by Western civilization, the Wild Man, as seen in archival footage, stares out with a proud, challenging, unknowable gaze a gaze which must have lit a fire in the young rabbinical student from Brooklyn, setting his life on a course that makes most of ours seem painfully dull by comparison.
* * *
"The harder the better...the harder it is to get to a place; the fewer Westerners have been there, the more I want to go." - Tobias Schneebaum
The story behind the making of KEEP THE RIVER ON YOUR RIGHT: A MODERN CANNIBAL TALE is almost as peculiar and unique as the movie itself. David Shapiro, who had directed short films, and is represented by Chelsea's Leibman Magnan Gallery, and his sister Laurie Gwen Shapiro, a comic novelist (The Unexpected Salami, currently being made into a feature film from her adaptation by Radical Media), decided to collaborate on a feature film. On a downtown New York street, David found a box of books in the garbage, among them Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Our Bodies, Our Selves. Included in the box was another book neither had heard of: Keep the River On Your Right. David and Laurie passed the book back and forth, realizing it was a hidden treasure.
They figured that if Tobias Schneebaum was indeed alive, where else could he possibly live but in New York City? They leaned over and found his name in the phone book, and called. Five years later, with a small film crew, they found themselves sitting besides Tobias, paddling a carved dugout canoe upriver in Asmat, New Guinea.
At the time of his disappearance, the part of the Amazon jungle that Tobias Schneebaum walked into was unmapped. During years of discussions with the Shapiros, Schneebaum could not pinpoint the exact locations where he disappeared, and also insisted that the Amarakaire were dead. He also made it clear that he had no interest in putting himself through the emotional ordeal of revisiting Peru. One day in Tobias apartment during an archive search, Laurie found the word Kosnipata written on a yellowed slip of paper behind a bookcase, and suspected it may be connected to Schneebaums long ago Amazon journey. She entered the word on the Internet and found it was a river in the formerly unmapped area of Peru now called Manu National Park, most famous as a birding paradise. After numerous futile emails by the Shapiros to experts in Peru, they eventually found an Amazon-based expatriate British birding expert named Barry Walker who had long ago read Keep the River on Your Right. "Let me guide you!" Walker emailed. He believed it was possible that descendents of Tobias old friends were living in Manu, perhaps even an old-timer or two. Anthropologists in Cusco were not so sure, as research in remote Manu was sketchy at best. On this thread of possibility, David and Laurie pressured Tobias to go back. Tobias was unnerved by the news of this latest development, but his curiosity finally convinced him to make the call and say, "Ill go."
As one might expect, shooting on locations including the swamplands of Asmat, New Guinea and the Amazon jungle was a logistical nightmare and full of setbacks; David and cinematographer Kovel both contracted malaria in New Guinea. Yet in the end David and Laurie managed to bring Schneebaum's amazing life to the screen. They have also adapted Keep the River on Your Right as a screenplay. A feature film is currently in development.
About TOBIAS SCHNEEBAUM
Tobias Schneebaum was born on Manhattans Lower East Side in 1921, but spent most of his youth in Brooklyn. He will turn 80 years old in March, 2001, and lives in a small studio apartment, filled with Asmat art, in Greenwich Village.
Tobias was educated in New York City public schools, including the prestigious Stuyvesant High School (the math and science school that has produced many Nobel prize winners), City College, and WPA art schools in the mid-thirties.
As a very young boy, Schneebaum accompanied his mother on regular visits to Brooklyns Coney Island where she bathed in the salt water to combat skin cancer, a condition which proved fatal. It was there, on the boardwalk, that Schneebaum came across a sideshow exhibit, the Wild Man of Borneo, an experience and memory which would forever shape his life.
During World War II, Tobias served in the U.S. Army as a radar mechanic. In 1946, after the war, he began studying painting under the influential artist Tamayo at the Brooklyn Museum. He then lived and exhibited in Mexico for three years before returning to New York. Soon later, in 1950, Schneebaum shipped out to Alaska as a cook on a small freighter for the Military Sea Transportation Service, and later worked on a troopship that ran between Japan and Korea.
Back in New York, Schneebaums career and reputation as a promising Abstract Expressionist painter was flourishing. He was showing regularly at the then-powerful Peridot Gallery on East Fifty-Seventh Street and climbing the ladder of the New York art world. But, never one to stay put, in 1955 Schneebaum applied for and won a prestigious Fulbright fellowship to travel to Peru. Amazingly, he hitchhiked -- one of Schneebaums favorite forms of travel -- all the way from New York to Peru, making sketches along the way.
Several months into his Peruvian adventure, the U.S. State department reported him missing in the Amazonian jungle in the Madres de Dios region. One year later, Schneebaum walked out of the jungle naked and covered in body paint. With his ideas of art challenged by tribal body painting rituals and scarification, Schneebaum would never return to exhibiting in the tony galleries of New York. Instead, Peru became the first of many trips to remote locations around the world where Schneebaum sought out people who lived "traditional lives." For Schneebaum, it was "the harder the better" -- the harder it was to get to place, the fewer Westerners who had visited, the more rewarding the trip was for him.
In 1961, Schneebaum became intrigued by an exhibition of Oceanic Art from the collection of Michael Rockefeller, who had recently disappeared in the jungle of New Guinea where, it was presumed, he was eaten by cannibals. Schneebaum visited New Guinea, where he met Bishop Alphonse Sowada of the archdiocese of Asmat. The Bishop was building the Asmat Museum of Culture and Progress in Agats, the first major museum developed specifically for an indigenous people. Schneebaum, deeply moved by the people and their art, vowed to return. Back in New York, Schneebaum studied anthropology at the New School, where he earned a masters degree.
He returned to Asmat, New Guinea in the early 1970s. With the blessings of the Bishop, Schneebaum began collecting and cataloging work for the museum. He visited remote villages of the Asmat region of Dutch New Guinea, the Western half of New Guinea (now West Papua, Indonesia), putting dozens on the map. Although he has a masters in the field, Schneebaum does not consider himself an anthropologist; in fact, he has challenged the "distanced observer" stance of anthropology for 30 years.
In 1969, fifteen years after his Peruvian disappearance, Grove Press published his beautiful memoir, Keep the River on Your Right, which caused a media sensation with many public appearances. According to Mr. Schneebaum, "It was easier to talk about cannibalism than homosexuality." The book has never been out of print. He also published three other books: Wild Man (Viking, 1979), Where the Spirits Dwell (Grove, 1988), and most recently, his collection of essays entitled Secret Places (University of Wisconsin Press, 2000)
As an outspoken gay activist who tended to many of his AIDS-stricken friends during the 1980s and early 1990s, Schneebaum is a modern day explorer who shatters stereotypes. Schneebaums travels are also not limited to Peru and New Guinea, the two areas featured in the film. Schneebaum has met the Dalai Lama in northern Punjab and crossed the Sahara on top of a truck.
With the exception of an occasional stint as a cruise ship lecturer, Schneebaum had retired from his exploring when the filmmakers found him in 1995. Despite three hip replacements, the onslaught of Parkinsons, and the advice of his friends and family, Schneebaum agreed to travel by canoe to the interior of New Guinea, and in the climax of the film, revisited his demons by traveling back to the Amazon Jungle after forty-five years. He is now safely back in Greenwich Village.
"The harder the better...the harder it is to get to a place; the fewer Westerners have been there, the more I want to go." - Tobias Schneebaum
What would drive a man to leave his home, friends and family÷dropping his career as a respected artist at the center of the 1950s New York art world÷to search an unexplored region of the Amazon for a tribe of Indians rumored to practice cannibalism?
By following Tobias Schneebaum, the 78-year-old controversial artist and author for four years, brother-and-sister team David Shapiro and Laurie Gwen Shapiro set to find out the answer.
The story behind Keep the River on your Right: A Modern Cannibal Tale is almost as quirky and unusual as the movie itself. David Shapiro, who has directed short films and established himself as an installation artist at Chelsea's Leibman Magnan Gallery, and his sister Laurie Gwen Shapiro, a comic novelist (The Unexpected Salami, currently being made into a feature film by Radical Media), decided to collaborate on a feature film. On a downtown New York street, David found a box of books in the garbage, among them were Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Our Bodies, Ourselves. Included in the box was another book neither had heard of: Keep the River On Your Right. David and Laurie passed the book back and forth, realizing it was a hidden treasure.
They surmised that if Tobias Schneebaum were indeed alive, where else could he possibly live but New York? They found his name in the white pages and telephoned. Five years later, with a small film crew, they found themselves sitting beside Tobias, paddling a carved dugout canoe upriver in Asmat, New Guinea.
Schneebaum had insisted all along that the Amarakaire were dead and that he had no interest in revisiting Peru. But during an archive check at Tobias's house, Laurie found the word Kosipata on a yellowed slip of paper behind a bookcase. She searched for it on the Internet, and found it was a river in a formerly unmapped area of Peru now called Manu National Park. After further research, David and Laurie found that a South American anthropologist thought 200 members were possibly still alive in Manu. Would anyone that Tobias knew be alive? Tobias had blocked those memories out. But David and Laurie convinced him that he should go back.
With locations ranging from the swamplands of Asmat, New Guinea and the Amazon jungle, the filmmakers have overcome extreme logistical obstacles and unusual setbacks (David and cinematographer Kovel contracted malaria in New Guinea.) Yet in the end David and Laurie managed to bring Schneebaum's life to the screen.
It first took Schneebaum fourteen years to explain what happened in the Amazon. With the publication of Keep the River on Your Right in 1969, and his ensuing publicity appearances on The Mike Douglas Show (archival footage included in the film), the world was startled by his confession: Schneebaum had not only lived with the Amarakaire for a year, but also participated in a raid on a neighboring tribe÷a cannibal raid which culminated with a ritual feast. For the live television audiences and America, this was a real eye-opener.
Now seventy-eight, Schneebaum still lives in New York City. His small studio apartment in Greenwich Village houses one of the world's finest private collections of Asmat art. Startling objects cover the room from floor to ceiling: extraordinary carved Asmat shields and figures, some six-feet in length; shrunken heads; carved masks, and crocodile necklaces.
With this overflowing collection as a backdrop, Schneebaum talks about the polarities of his experiences: traveling the world on foot; leading museum patrons on luxury cruises to New Guinea; and being ritually adopted into an Asmat family in the village whose people were said to have killed Michael Rockefeller.
Schneebaum retells the story of Keep the River on Your Right with objects, drawings and photographs, as well as a rare copy of Jungle Journey - a 1959 rhyming children's book by Mary Britton Miller based on his experience. Schneebaum illustrated the book, with imagery startling for a 1950s children's tale. The filmmakers have animated several of Schneebaum's double-edged illustrations.
In the 1950s, Schneebaum, a shy gay painter and the novelist Norman Mailer, the famed machismo-ist, were low-rent neighbors in an East Village building opposite New York's Marble Cemetery. The two reminiscence about their unusual rapport with surprising candor. "I never understood the depths of Toby's motivation," Mailer confesses. "When he went on to have his extraordinary experiences, I thought, Toby has so much to him. What kind of a novelist am I that I didn't see it?"
In the cathedral-like setting of the Michael Rockefeller Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with Asmat shields similar to those found in his cramped apartment, Schneebaum lectures to a group of art history students from Barnard College about his controversial views on sex, art and culture. By participating in sexual and ritual customs, his unique blend of anthropology and self-confession broke with the tradition of the distanced observer. For Tobias Schneebaum, no subject, question, or ritual is off limits.
Schneebaum's work has been at the forefront of debates about primitivism for nearly thirty years. On the Coney Island boardwalk, Schneebaum relates how as a boy, he first became enthralled with one of the sideshow attractions, the Wild Man of Borneo - an obsession which spawned the title of his second book, Wild Man. With the backdrop of a tattoo convention on the Boardwalk, Schneebaum explores the distance between ritual scarification and the consumer tribalism.
In addition to completing the feature documentary, which was one of the first feature documentaries to receive finishing funds from the Independent Film Channel's Next Wave Films, David Shapiro and Laurie Gwen Shapiro have co-written a feature screenplay based on Keep the River on Your Right.
Director, Writer, Producer David Shapiro
Keep the River On Your Right marks David Shapiro's feature documentary directorial debut. His short films and artwork were recently profiled by The New Yorker, The Village Voice, and featured on the cover of World Art Magazine. Shapiro studied English and art at SUNY/Albany and received his M.F.A. in film from Hunter College. He is currently working on Movies In My Head, a feature length film. He has also co-written a feature adaptation of Keep the River on Your Right with his sister and documentary collaborator, Laurie Gwen Shapiro. He is represented by LiebmanMagnan Gallery in New York.
Director, Writer, Producer Laurie Gwen Shapiro
Keep the River On Your Right marks Laurie Gwen Shapiro's directorial debut. She is author of the comic novel The Unexpected Salami, (Algonquin, 1998) which has been published in five countries and which she has adapted for Radical Media to be directed by Alan White in 2001. She is co-directing a feature-length documentary, The Impersonator with her brother and documentary collaborator, David Shapiro. She co-produced "The McCourts of New York," which aired on HBO/Cinemax and many international stations. She studied film and television at Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications and Melbourne University's Swinburne Institute.
Director of Photography Jonathan Kovel
Jonathan Kovel has served as Cinematographer on many award-winning films and commercials, including Surrender, Dorothy, which took top feature film prize at 1998 Slamdance, and Tree Shade, which premiered at Sundance 1998, and went on to win the Student Academy Award. He completed his masters in film at Columbia University and divides his work between South Africa and New York City.
Editor Tula Goenka
Tula Goenka, a professor of film at Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications, has edited numerous award-winning documentaries and films. She was Associate Editor of noted films Surviving Picasso, Unzipped, and Mississippi Masala.
Music Steve Bernstein
Steve Bernstein is the trumpeter and founding member of acclaimed ensembles Sex Mob and Diaspora Soul, and is the arranger for the Lounge Lizards. He has scored numerous independent and studio films, including Get Shorty and Kansas City.
Music Supervisor, Music Paul O'Leary
Paul O'Leary music has been featured in many Australian films and television programs. He most recently was nominated for Songwriter of the Year by the Australian Songwriters Association, and received top honors for The J Sessions best debut rock song by Australia's national radio station, Triple J. He is co-producing the feature-length documentary The Impersonator with Laurie Gwen Shapiro.
Peter Broderick (Executive Producer) is the president of Next Wave Films, a company of the Independent Film Channel, that provides finishing funds and other vital support to exceptional low-budget feature films.
Chris Vroom (Executive Producer) is a managing director and head of internet equity research at Credit Suisse First Boston, founder and president of the Artcouncil, a not-for-profit charitable organization that supports emerging artists and inner city art education programs in the San Francisco Bay area, as well an an executive producer of "The McCourts of New York," a documentary that aired on HBO/Cinemax and many international stations.
Stay tuned for more information.
- Athens International Film Festival (2001) -- GREECE
- Halifax Film Festival - (2001) - CANADA
- 2000 Toronto International Film Festival - CANADA
- 2000 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (Feature Competition) - NL
- 2000 Los Angeles Independent Film Festival - USA
- 2000 Seattle International Film Festival - USA
- 2000 New York International Documentary Festival (Docfest) - USA
- 2000 Hamptons International Film Festival - USA
- Its All True! Documentary Film Festival, 2001 - Brazil
- Mountain Film Festival - Telluride, CO 2001 - USA
- Atlanta Film and Video Festival - 2001 - USA
- Halfway to Hollywood Film Festival Kansas City 2001 USA
- Newport Beach Film Festival, California 2001 USA
>>"Recommended! ....By any standards, a hard story to beat-" The Melbourne Age
>>"4 out of 4 stars. 'Keep the River on Your Right' is the record of a
wholly unique life. It's also a much-needed reminder that the planet we
inhabit, like the world of cinema, is far more diverse than most of us dare
to discover." Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
>>"*****5 Stars. An engaging and philosophically complex testimony about the depth of human life and the uncharted territory it may take us in our pursuit of personal happiness. Highly recommended.
- Julia Levin, Filmcritic.com. 5 stars (out of 5).
>>"Remarkable...you've never seen a documentary quite like this one, and aren't
likely to again." -- Boston Globe
>>"Mesmerizing. A remarkable film about a remarkable man who's lived the kind
of life usually reserved for adventure novels and pulp fiction."
-- Chris Kaltenbach -- Baltimore Sun
>>"Fascinating. Of the 8 million-plus stories in the Naked City, Schneebaum's
journey of self-discovery must qualify as one of the richest and strangest."-
James Verniere -- Boston Herald
>>"Highest rating" "A remarkable film. The film underscores the paradox in
this man's life: the split between the mild-mannered New Yorker and the
fearless vagabond who joined an Arakmbut hunting raid that ended with the
near-massacre of a neighboring tribe."
-- Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle
>>"Brilliant - beautifully evoked by directors David and Laurie Shapiro. A
life way off the charts in its unpredictability, and sharing it with him is
-- Stephen Hunter, Washington Post
>>"An extraordinarily absorbing documentary --a provocative consideration of
what happens when a man chooses a defiantly different course."
-- Desmond Ryan, Philadelphia Inquirer
>>Keep the River on Your Right is an exemplary piece of documentary filmmaking. Not only do the writer-directors narrate the life of a truly remarkable and complex individual, they also give Schneebaum much latitude in narrating his
own life. Simultaneously, the film demonstrates how that life extends beyond
its own subjective limits, as a story about the effects of global cultural
interaction over the latter half of the twentieth century. The world needs
more old gay cannibals like Tobias Schneebaum, who challenge at every turn
the binaries we continually reconstruct between Self and Other, between our
own "cannibal" and "civilized" selves. --Todd R. Ramlow - Popmatters
>>"Colorful and engaging" - Lawrence Van Gelder, New York Times
>>"A one-of-a-kind documentary as compelling as it is bizarre" -Owen
Gleiberman- Entertainment Weekly
>>"A wonderful documentary. The nebbishy, endearing Tobias Schneebaum--painter, author, explorer, homosexual and one of the great characters o real life."
-John Anderson, New York Newsday
>>"A riveting documentary" Lou Lumenick, New York Post
>>"A documentary that understands the uniqueness of the man who is their
subject without patronizing or exploiting him." - Stanley Kaufmann, The New
>>"Consistently compelling." David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
>>"A stunning documentary, gripping from the very start."
"Tobias Schneebaum is one of the most charming, enigmatic men ever captured
--Elizabeth Einstein, Esquire
>>"A spellbinding expedition that makes for an unforgettable film."
--Elizabeth Einstein, Esquire
>> "Yes, he ate human flesh. But this movie isn't about Schneebaum's travels
and isn't about cannibalism and isn't even how he walked all alone in the
jungle in Tennis shoes and depended for his survival on the kindness of
strangers. It is about the wisdom and acceptance that comes with age."
--Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
>> "A riveting account of an enthralling life. An engaging testimony to the
courage of one man's quest into the unknown." - Box Office
>> "An extraordinary documentary. Sibling filmmakers David and
Laure Gwen Shapiro tell (Scheneebaum's) story with humor and openmindedness."
--Stephen Farber" - Movieline
>> "A sharp-witted documentary...a moving portrait"
>>"To watch Keep the River is to be treated to a privileged and extended peek
into an ostensibly foreign planet...The film perfectly captures Schneebaum's
mix of winning candor and sheer bizarreness, and the effect is exhilarating."
-- Filmmaker Magazine, Stan Schwartz
>>"Provocative" - The Independent - Aaron Krach
>>"A first rate new documentary.. The Nation - George De Stefano
>>"Keep the River on Your Right is a remarkable film. " Jack Matthews - New
York Daily News
>>"Madly ambitious and brilliantly realized" Jewish Week
>>"An absorbing combo of art, anthro and Mondo Cane!" - Variety
>>"Fascinating..wrenching....a different sort of journey"
>>""A deliciously entertaining documentary with superb editing and masterful
camerawork...a heartfelt, illuminating film about societal loss."
>> "Involving...quirky, plucky" - Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
>> "Absorbing. Titillating." - Ed Rampell- Variety
>> "Guaranteed to lead off the beaten path. Lively and sensitive."
-- Lisa Schwartzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
>> "I met the most wonderful man today, and I met him in a film called Keep the
River on Your Right."
-- Harry Knowles- Ain't-It-Cool News
>>**** (four stars) "Undeniably engrossing portrait of real-life Indiana
-- Diane Vadino, Spin Magazine
>>'Keep the River deftly reproduces Schneebaums unique perspective (an
experience that alone is worth the admission price), so that everything we
encounter a grocery store, an Asmat circumcision ceremony, a Passover
dinner is at once strange, wondrous, and familiar. Like Schneebaum himself,
the film chooses to " play with " rather than " study " its subject. By the
end, that seems a compassionate, logical, and inherently superior choice. "
-- Kirsten Marcum, Boston Phoenix
>>"Fully up to its subject: slowly revealing more than first appears,
resolutely nonjudgmental and never quite doing what's expected of it."
-- Toronto Star - Geoff Pevere
>>"Beautifully photographed with an elegant pitch-perfect score."
-Goldie Charles, The Jewish Week