American Bill Markham (Powers Boothe) has taken his family to the jungles of Brazil, where he has been hired to design a dam. Unexpectedly, a native tribe abducts his son, Tommy (Charley Boorman). Bill spends an entire decade looking for Tommy, only to discover that the boy has adopted the ways of the indigenous people he’s been living with. Bill tries to convince his son to return to his family, but their reunion is interrupted when another group of natives attacks Tommy’s tribe.
The film was written and conceived with a deep and intuitive understanding of mythology — both in the case of the anthropological study of the (fictional) tribe and the importance of rituals, thresholds of passage and images for the journey of man through life.