In the Niaruna he sees what might have been for his own culture and so is determined to join the Niaruna and to guide them in how to avoid assimilation. Through the prism of the mist, the heat of the low jungle sky seemed to focus on this wretched spot, where tarantulas and scorpions and stinging ants accompanied the mosquito and the biting fly into the huts, where the vampire bats, defecating even as they fed, would fasten on exposed toes at night, where one could never be certain that a bushmaster or few-de-lance had not formed its cold coil in a dark corner.
In the the river, piranhas swam among the stingrays and candirus and the large crocodilians called lagartos; in adjacent swamps and forests lived the anaconda and the jaguar. But at Remate de Males such creatures were but irritants; the true enemies were the heat and the biting insects, the mud and the nagging fear, more like an ague, of the silent hostile people of the rain forest. While the Americans, despite bringing only harm, are portrayed with nuance and the Niaruna themselves with respect, the military commander, as well as the indians who support him and live in the town, are treated by Matthiessen with not much more than contempt.
It would have been a stronger book had he been able to treat those living between the Americans and the Niaruna with the same complexity as the other characters. Still, At Play in the Fields of the Lord is a fascinating story of what happens when good intentions are not enough. Have fond memories of seeing the film and looking forward to the detail and inner revelations that books usually provide.
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- At Play In The Fields Of The Lord () - video dailymotion.
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I'm can't think of a case where the book wasn't far better than the movie. Move review as I get further into it. Even though it would seem almost un-filmable, the director did a good job, carried in part by the beautiful photography of the Amazon.
At Play In The Fields Of The Lord
The book is basically about the extinction of a smaller culture by a larger more powerful culture - it is no accident the main characters are Jewish and Navajo Indian, two cultures that have historically successfully resisted attempts at genocide. Matthiessen was active with indigenous peoples in the Amazon when he published the non-fiction book "The Cloud Forest" in , just a few years before "Fields of the Lord", the two works can be profitably be read in conjunction as both biographical of Matthiessen's evolving views and understanding of the culture and geography.
An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books. Home Groups Talk Zeitgeist.
Members Reviews Popularity Average rating Mentions 10 19, 3. In addition to being a prophetic commentary on emerging threats to the environment, and the troublesome encroachment of the modern world on traditional cultures, the novel is a suspenseful adventure story about two men striving to find meaning in a world not their own. Fiction about missionaries The Joe Rogan Experience Library National Book Award Finalists - Fiction No current Talk conversations about this book.
A mesmerizing read. DJadamson Jan 4, They are different from us, they don't understand!
And besides that, it could be very dangerous for us all. Martin Quarrier: It will not seem filthy to him unless we make it so. Honey, it is very natural. Hazel Quarrier: Natural?! And if one of those nasty little savages puts a hand on him? TV Shows.
Missionaries travel to the Brazilian rain forest and make a mess of everything. What else is new? Actually, plenty in this dark but beautifully realized adaptation of Peter Matthiessen's well-regarded novel, directed by Hector Babenco. But their definitions of good vary wildly; Bates and Lithgow are old-fashioned puritans who want to convert the heathens to Christianity and remove all traces of their own culture. Vincent Canby , the film critic for the New York Times , had mixed feelings about the film but did like the acting and the screenplay, and wrote, " At Play in the Fields of the Lord doesn't play smoothly, but it often plays well Lithgow and Miss Hannah, who grows more secure as an actress with every film, are fine in complex roles that are exceptionally well written Though the film features a spectacular penultimate sequence, it seems not to know how to end.
It sort of drifts away, perhaps trying to soften its own well-earned pessimism. Critic Jeffrey Westhoff writing for Northwest Herald disliked the film and stated: "Some books should remain books.
At Play In The Fields Of The Lord Movie Review () | Roger Ebert
Theatrical release poster.