Ayahuasca Diaries

: Documentary Feature
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Post-Production


Ayahuasca Diaries, made with Amazonian tribes and contemporary scientists, is a film about an elixir transforming personal lives and world culture.


With so much ongoing trauma in the world, we need to promote the most efficient ways to heal now more than ever. What’s more, saving the Amazon is critical to our existence. That’s why I feel an urgency to finish Ayahuasca Diaries as soon as possible. 

Ayahuasca Diaries shows not only what’s mind boggling possible regarding personal healing, but also how ayahuasca is impacting world culture; in particular, how it is helping to save the Amazon and impacted communities.  In collaboration with Amazonian spiritual leaders from Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, and Colombia and contemporary scientists, the film anticipates the future of ayahuasca in a distinctive groundbreaking style. Ayahuasca Diaries is for both the curious and well-seasoned.


While I once felt silence is ayahuasca's best protection, the “genie is out of the bottle” and now, “ayahuasca” is even in your spell check. According to many psychiatrists, ayahuasca is the most efficient and profound way of transforming one’s life. I felt it was necessary to inform psychiatrists, psychologists, governments to understand and respect the brew and its hosts, avoid abuse, and to inspire healing of the vast trauma in this world. Governments do not understand what ayahuasca is and how it can heal and help people; they are unaware of its chemical make-up and the scientific evidence of its value. The right to have dominion over one’s own body, mind and spirit is, and should be, an inalienable right, superseding government intervention.

Two decades ago there were very few people who knew about ayahuasca. It had hardly left the Amazon rainforest until the late 1980s. In the 2000s, it was mostly Europeans and Americans finding ayahuasca in the Amazon. Subsequently, by their invitation, Amazonian shamans began traveling the world and ayahuasca use spread and flourished underground. As is the tendency in the modern world, we appropriated and morphed traditions that understood how to delicately work with unknown realms beyond physical matter. As ayahuasca moves farther from traditional ceremonies, its use often becomes less sacred and its users more at risk for lack of wisdom. It is not to be taken recreationally. The gifts of this mysterious brew are beyond comprehension. More than just understanding and listening to tribal wisdom about its use, I wanted to inspire sacred reciprocity to the tribes that have shared their gifts. The artistic approach of the film is something I have not seen before. (I am encouraged by several award-winning film producers and editors who know nothing about ayahuasca who have applauded the film’s unique vision and form.) I take you across the threshold into worlds unknown by even the most experienced and informed about ayahuasca and its power. 


Maxi Cohen - Director Producer

Maxi Cohen is a filmmaker whose movies have played in theaters, festivals, and on television around the world and have influenced two generations of filmmakers. As a media activist, her film and television work has had significant influence in creating visible social change. A recipient of awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Annenberg and Rockefeller Foundations, and Buckminster Fuller Institute, Cohen's art, film and videos are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa and other museums.

From Shock to Awe, executive produced by Cohen, is available on Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play.  

"If you have an interest in psychedelics, ayahuasca, veteran affairs, or healing, take a look at this documentary. I’ve watched it 3x already and highly recommend it."  -  Tim Ferriss   

"A must-see"  -   Michael Pollan   

The Holy Give Me is about the Santo Daime, made in response to arrests of European and US church leaders facilitating traditional  ceremonies of the Santo Daime and UDV, legal ayahuasca churches in Brazil


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