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Release: Immediate

Filmmaker to present documentary on plight of Amazonian Indians

IOWA CITY -- In the late 1980s and early 1990s, award-winning filmmaker Geoffrey O'Connor watched as Amazonian Indians in Brazil attempted to assert their rights and advance their cultural heritage. His camera rolling, O'Connor was dismayed to see the indigenous rights movement threatened by the influence of Westerners, with their preconceptions of Indians as "primitives" and "noble savages."

On Friday, Oct. 17, University of Iowa students and faculty along with members of the Iowa City community will have a chance to watch the events unfold in O'Connor's new film, "Amazon Journal." O'Connor will be in town to present his film at 3:30 p.m. in Room 101 Becker Communication Studies Building.

The film is O'Connor's first-person account of his experiences filming the turbulent political events in the Brazilian Amazon. He has also written a book, "Amazon Journal: Dispatches from a Vanishing Frontier." He will read from the book Oct. 17 at 8 p.m. at Prairie Lights Bookstore.

O'Connor was nominated for an Academy Award in 1993 for his documentary, "At the Edge of Conquest." He has also collaborated with Michael Moore as a producer and director on the television series "TV Nation."

His appearance at the UI is co-sponsored by the American Indian and Native Studies Program, Amnesty International, the department of anthropology, International Programs, the Latin American Studies Program, and the Rain Forest Action Network.

Reporters interested in interviewing O'Connor while he is in Iowa City should contact Laurie Graham, associate professor of anthropology, in advance to arrange a time. She can be reached in her office at 335-0517 or by email at