October 21, 2008

Review of 4Real Peru

In 4Real Visits Natives I described the 4Real series and its first episode. Here's more on this episode, titled Cameron Diaz Goes to Peru:

4Real Cameron DiazCameron Diaz treks into the Andes mountains of Peru with host, Sol Guy for the CW season premiere of 4Real. Diaz meets with Puma Singona, a 27-year-old medicine man of the Quechua tribe. Singona is internationally recognized for his healing and teachings, he also sits on his community's council of elders and runs a cultural organization that focuses on teaching tradition to youth.

Fast Facts

  • U.S. premiere: October 5, 2008 at 5pm on the CW network

  • 4Real airs globally on National Geographic Channels International (not including Canada, U.S., and U.K.) in 166 countries and in 34 languages

  • 50% of the show's profits go directly to the young leaders' initiatives

  • Quotes

    "I've always had a connection to the earth. Knowing that was what Puma stood for, his teachings, that that's what he was putting out into the world, it was one of those things that goes, "okay, that's why I'm here." —Cameron Diaz
    Comment:  This episode--and the entire series, I presume--is a typical example of documentary-making today. With its MTV style of filming and editing, it's a decent way to spend half an hour.

    Cameron Diaz's hippie-dippy-trippy personality makes her a good surrogate for the audience. Her quote above exemplifies her reaction to what she sees and learns. (But I give her props for taking photos wherever she goes.)

    In short, the show is about as entertaining and informative as, say, a National Geographic article on the subject. I don't know if it'll inspire anyone to act--"if Cameron Diaz can do it, so can I!"--but it can't hurt and may help.


  • Diaz admitted she didn't know anything about Peru other than the fact that she was meeting a shaman. Apparently the series' approach is that of "innocents abroad," with ignorant Americans discovering that things aren't peachy-keen around the world.

  • Puma said that if you survive being struck by lightning in the Andes, you're meant to be a healer or shaman. If you don't survive, you're presumably meant to be worm food.

  • A crowd of 50-100 people followed Diaz when she reached Machu Picchu. The show called them "paparazzi," but they may have been over-eager tourists. There was a hint that Diaz and company needed police to keep the onlookers from overwhelming them.

    For more on the subject, see Native Documentary and News.

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