Movie Review of “Medicine Man”
Movie Review of “Medicine Man”
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In “Medicine Man,” we observe as scientist Dr. Robert Campbell, played by Sean Connery, works for a large pharmaceutical company and is looking for new medicines deep within the Amazon jungle. Tropical rainforests are sometimes referred to as the world’s largest pharmacy. Meanwhile, female researcher, Dr. Rae Crane, played by actress Lorraine Bracco, is sent by the company to the rain forest to convince Dr. Campbell to abandon his research in the tropical rainforest. In the end, Dr. Campbell ends us convincing Dr. Crane to assist in the research while continuing even deeper into the rainforest. “Medicine Man” then plays out the drama between the researchers and the logging company and the concern Dr. Campbell fears for the lives of the indigenous people living inside the rainforest.
Although in reality, the movie “Medicine Man” was shot in Mexico and Brazil, the Amazon basin in Brazil which is part of the Brazilian rain forest, provided this movie with breathtaking tropical scenery and a greater appreciation with the physical geography of a rain forest. Because the undergrowth of these tropical forests allows for very minimal sunlight to it, therefore it is not difficult for these researchers to walk through the rainforest. By watching the movie, we were vicariously made aware of the great biodiversity of plant and animal species discovered and possibly the greater biodiversity in the rainforests not yet uncovered. We were also made aware by watching this movie, unfortunately, of how this natural diversity can too easily become extinct.
In the movie “Medicine Man,” viewers are shown how we as humans continue to burn and tear out the rainforest even though we have scientific proof of all the species of life within the rainforest and how they all of this contributes to overall life. To watch a movie that shows how the discoveries made in the rain forest are only to be destroyed by man cannot be over-empathized especially since it continues today. To be reminded that these one-of-a-kind plants and species are being driven to extinction even though we have the knowledge of what we’re doing as seen in the movie “Medicine Man” is totally irresponsible to this physical geography and life in general.
I personally believe the movie “Medicine Man” is an excellent movie to be viewed as part of our Physical Geography class. In class, we are learning to appreciate the natural landscape. As we learn to understand the patterns and the processes of our natural environment, the rain forest being part of our natural environment, cannot be overlooked.
Unfortunately, more importantly, we as students in a physical geography class need to see the truth of what humans are doing to our natural landscape. Although the movie is not a documentary, too much of the content in it was true. To see bulldozers tearing out a geography that has so much importance to our lives that cannot be replaced is something that all students of any physical geography class needs to be made more aware of. Deforestation needs to be considered an international emergency to every single one of us. In this respect, I would go further and say that if movies, albeit fiction or documentaries, with content such as what we seen in “Medicine Man” was not addressed in Physical Geography classes, there would be a great void in that curriculum.
McTiernan, J., Schulman, T., Robinson, S., Connery, S., Bracco, L., Wilker, J., et al.
(1999). Medicine man. Burbank, CA: Hollywood Pictures Home Entertainment.