Amazon Adventure tells the epic, true story of Henry Bates, the son of a sock maker, who risked his life in the perilous Amazon in the 1850’s and discovered the “beautiful proof” for the greatest explanation ever put forward for the development of life on earth.
Pulled out of school in Leicester at the age of 13 to apprentice in a hosiery factory, Bates loved nature, was an avid beetle collector with an insatiable curiosity and detective-like mind. A voracious reader, he taught himself several languages, taxonomy and was a gifted singer, guitarist and illustrator and by 17, had his first science article published. Motivated by his thirst for more knowledge and unable to be contained by his factory town, Bates set sail with his friend Alfred Wallace, in their early twenties, on the adventure of a lifetime across the ocean to the Amazon rainforest and a burning quest to prove if species change.
Wallace would stay for 4 years and Bates 11, both making significant contributions to evolutionary science. Adapting remarkably well to these extremely challenging surroundings, Bates ventured further up the Amazon with his pet monkey and guitar, and formed close relationships with the native tribes, speaking 10 of their languages and adopting their hunting and living ways in his own battle to survive.
Despite yellow fever, treacherous landslides, robbery, starvation, encounters with jaguars, army ants, poisonous snakes and insects, Bates perseveres and discovers the mindboggling world of animal mimicry and camouflage. In this bizarre game of Hide and Seek, and through the vast stretches of evolutionary change, an animal takes on the look of another species or even an object, gaining an advantage in the competitive world of survival. As in any great detective story, audiences will experience the compelling clues Bates unravels – like bird feces that walk and water droplets that fly and jungle cats that mimic the sound of a small monkey.
Near death, Bates had to leave his Amazon paradise and return to England. He arrived one month after Darwin published his highly controversial book “On the Origin of Species…”. Without convincing specimen proof for his theory of how species change, Darwin was under tremendous attack and ridiculed. Never could he imagine it would come from an uneducated man of Bates’ humble background. Darwin called Bates’ findings from the Amazon “the beautiful proof” for natural selection and included this evidence in all future editions of his book.
Wallace, Bates and Darwin would remain friends for life.
|Release Date||April 2017|
|Directed by:||Mike Slee|