Vine of the Soul

Director: Richard Meech
Running time: 52’ - Canada, 2009

Director’s Bio

Filmmaker Richard Meech was the creator of the internationally acclaimed documentary series MILLENNIUM: TRIBAL WISDOM AND THE MODERN WORLD. He and his partner produced and directed the epic cross-cultural anthropology series of ten one-hour films that won several awards including an Emmy and two Geminis. (BBC, PBS and Global 1992). «Vine of the soul: encounters with ayahausca» is the first feature documentary both produced and directed by Meech.

Contact Director
Tel: +1-416-466-8110

2009 Vine of the soul: encounters with ayahuasca
2003 Doctors without borders: life in the field

History’s courtroom


In the shadow of a saint

1992 Millennium: tribal wisdom and the modern world

Written, Produced, Directed:  Richard Meech


Director of Photography: Derek Rogers csc


Editor:  Chris Cassino


Music:  Eric Cadesky, Nick Dyer


Production Manager:  Deborah MacDonald


Executive Producers:  Richard Meech, Jerry McIntosh, VisionTV, Joan Jenkinson


Sound Mixer:  Richard Spence-Thomas


Sound Recordists:  Mario Rivas, Ian Challis, Patrick Brereton



Seeking spiritual awakening and healing, a doctor and an accountant join others in the Amazon to drink a psychoactive tea called ayahuasca or ‘Vine of the Soul’. Their encounters with the sacred medicine offer new insights into the nature of faith, mystical experience and self-healing through a heightened state of consciousness. Filmmaker Richard Meech follows key protagonists as they journey to Peru - and back home – capturing in verité style both the life-altering epiphanies and nights of terror encountered after drinking the sacred brew.
Throughout the film, in-depth interviews with Peruvian and Canadian shamans, ethnobotanist Dennis McKenna, addiction expert Dr. Gabor Maté and scholar Kenneth Tupper speak to the increasing use of ayahuasca outside the Amazon and the potential benefits for Western medicine, personal spiritual growth and a new understanding of Nature.

World sales
16 High Street Brunswick, ME 04011
Τel: +1 207 725 8215

Director’s Statement

In the mid 90’s I started hearing about Westerners going to the Amazon to participate in traditional ayahuasca ceremonies –not scientists doing fieldwork - but ordinary folks seeking healing and spiritual awakening.

I decided to meet some of these people to find out why they take ayahuasca and how it has affected their lives. I had not imagined the emotional depths and spiritual journeys I would be privileged to witness.

There is a wide gulf in our popular understanding about the nature of healing. Living within a profoundly material worldview leaves little space for what can be called the ‘spiritual’. Spirituality and healing? What does spirituality have to do with healing? More than one would ever imagine, it seems.