Article ID: CBB829958369

River Exploration in Cinema: Some Examples from South America (2022)


Although the history of discoveries relies heavily upon the written word, this article urges that we take a closer look at how the medium of film depicts the process of geographical exploration and discovery. Using South America as an example, it focuses on one geographical feature, that continent’s remarkable river system. From the mid 20th century onward, rivers abounded in films depicting the continent’s exploration and discovery. Where relevant, these films are discussed with regard to their cartographic depiction of rivers. This article notes that films often employ rivers as more than simply geographic features. In fact, most of them make imaginative use of rapids and waterfalls for dramatic purposes, especially symbolically and metaphorically as turning points in explorers’ fortunes and misfortunes.

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Authors & Contributors
Benton, Ted
Bleichmar, Daniela
Capel, Horacio
Chapman, Anne
Clark, Rex M.
David, Andrew
Archives of Natural History
British Journal for the History of Science
Circumscribere: International Journal for the History of Science
Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Journal of Medical Biography
Hakluyt Society
Cambridge University Press
Berghahn Books
Edwin Mellen Press
Ouro Sobre Azul Editoria
Overlook Press
Travel; exploration
Scientific expeditions
Natural history
Humboldt, Alexander von
Darwin, Charles Robert
Angelis, Pedro de
Grandidier, Alfred
Gregory, Augustus Charles
Koettlitz, Reginald
Time Periods
19th century
18th century
20th century, early
20th century, late
South America
Central America
American Museum of Natural History, New York
Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (University of California, Berkeley)
California Academy of Sciences
Rothschild Museum (England)

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