Into the Amazon tells the remarkable story of the journey taken by President Theodore Roosevelt and legendary Brazilian explorer Cândido Rondon into the heart of the South American rainforest to chart an unexplored tributary of the Amazon.
Two of the most celebrated men from their respective nations, Roosevelt and Rondon set out with twenty other adventurers in 1914. Over eight eventful weeks in one of the most remote places on earth, the ill-equipped expedition navigated deadly rapids in crude dugout canoes.
Hunger and exhaustion were compounded by the rainforest’s unforgiving topography, which forced the men to carry heavy canoes long distances. What was anticipated to be a relatively tranquil journey turned out to be a brutal test of courage and character. Before it was all over, one member of the expedition had drowned and another had committed murder. Roosevelt would badly injure his leg and beg to be left behind to die.
More than a dramatic adventure story, Into the Amazon shines a light on two of the western hemisphere’s most formidable men, and the culture and politics of their two formidable nations.
PBS sent a crew to the Brazilian Amazon to reconstruct the remarkable and yet relatively unknown expedition of the former US president and the Brazilian explorer Marechal Rondon. The documentary, punctuated by comments and analysis premiered on PBS in January, but it can be seen through streaming.