In the 18th century, the Portuguese explorer Alexandre Rodrigues undertook an expedition into Amazonia. In his travel journal, he detailed the mysteries emanating from the jungle, at the time considered a “terra incognita”. Through this account, we perceive the region like a mythological territory of another world. Guided by the words of this scientific journal, the film explores Rodrigues' personal cabinet inhabited by stuffed animals, exotic plants, and overlooked artefacts frozen in a time that does not exist. This capsule reproduces an image of Amazonia that is closer to a fantastic tale than scientific research, and the words of this character from the past take us back to the terrain of fantasising, adventure stories and a certain colonialist reverie. The film constructs a pared-down device that questions the value of individual memory as material for historical discourse. And a disturbing question haunts the film: can we separate these scientific expeditions from colonialism? Lacking an answer, Far from Amazonia envisages the colonial past as a staggered episode of history, never situated at the right distance.
Elena López Riera