12 Best Ayahuasca Movies & Documentaries That Will Blow Your Mind

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Ayahuasca is an incredibly powerful, psychoactive drink made out of a traditional vine found in the Amazon in South America, used as a ceremonial, spiritual medicine by Shamans and the indigenous people of the area. Over the past few decades, interest in this plant-based drink has peaked in the West, giving rise to numerous movies, documentaries, and journeys that include Ayahuasca.

There are some obvious dangers to consuming Ayahuasca or even just traveling to the Amazon to experience the Shamanic rituals. However, there are numerous proven benefits, not just of Ayahuasca, but its most potent psychoactive substance, DMT. If you want to learn more, here’s a list of the 12 best Ayahuasca movies, shows, and documentaries that will blow your mind.

The list is not ranked in any way so as not to guide you to anything in particular – all these entries are awesome and very worthy of your time.

1. ‘Awakening the Soul’ (2021)

What it’s about: Why is Ayahuasca so effective when it comes to discovering the root of trauma, depression, addiction, or other mental health problems? How does it work to help you solve those issues? Take this psychedelic trip with Awakening the Soul and find out – perhaps it’ll inspire your own journey to self-healing.

Why you should watch it: I liked the approach that this particular documentary took when it comes to the subject of Ayahuasca. It tries to explain not only how but why it works. If there’s one thing I’d like to point out is that it doesn’t really give you all the necessary information about Ayahuasca itself and is too stylized to be ‘psychedelic’ at points.

However, it’s an amazing documentary that will give you a great jumpstart if you’re considering taking or just learning more about Ayahuasca. Just make sure to do your research before taking that next step. You can watch the trailer above, as the entire documentary is age-restricted and only available on YouTube, here.

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2. ‘Metamorphosis’ (2015)

What it’s about: Ayahuasca has been around for thousands of years, used traditionally as a remedy and holistic medicine by Amazonian shamans. In this documentary, you’ll witness five different Ayahuasca ceremonies that five ‘westerners’ go through to learn how it works and the key elements of an Ayahuasca ritual.

Why you should watch it: Another documentary that can be found in full on YouTube, you’ll enjoy the in-depth analysis of the effects of Ayahuasca and its history, along with a front-row seat to Ayahuasca ceremonies, the journey they take one upon, and their after-effects on one’s mind, body, and spirit. 

You’ll get to learn not just how the ceremonies work but the meaning behind them. See the whole film above.

3. ‘Icaros: A Vision’ (2016)

What it’s about: A woman exhausts all her modern medical options to no avail. As a last resort, she ventures into the Peruvian Amazon, searching for a shaman who can gift her a miracle cure. As the ancient, traditional plant, Ayahuasca, changes her life and perspective, she meets a young shaman who is also struggling with illness – losing his eyesight.

As the two go through the journey to epiphany together, they learn to accept their fears and destinies through this shamanic journey across their own minds.

Why you should watch it: This 2016 movie isn’t a documentary but rather a movie that kind of feels like a stylized documentary at moments. I love the angle of self-discovery that they took and how we can actually help each other find our path despite being different on the surface.

See the trailer for the award-winning flick above.

4. ‘Ayahuasca: Vine of the Soul’ (2010)

What it’s about: A naturopathic doctor, an accountant, and a team of others venture into the Amazon on a quest to heal their bodies and souls and to experience a spiritual epiphany. Does Ayahuasca actually have the power to do so? Will they manage to successfully complete their quest? 

Why you should watch it: I like the personal touch and hands-on approach of this documentary. They started with a hypothesis and then went out to see if that hypothesis was correct. 

You get to witness their newfound spirituality, developed as an after-effect of the Ayahuasca ceremony, involving self-healing and something they call a ‘heightened state of consciousness’ that is, in fact, the real mystery of Ayahuasca-induced emotional ‘epiphanies.’ Watch the entire documentary right here, above the text.

Also, there’s a great conversation with Dr. Gabor Mate – one of the people in this documentary – available on YouTube, where he talked about his personal journeys, struggles with trauma, addiction, and Ayahuasca. You can find it here.

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5. ‘DMT: The Spirit Molecule’ (2010)

What it’s about: Dimethyltryptamine, also known as DMT, is a molecule found in just about every living organism in the world. However, it is also known as the ‘spirit molecule’ and one of the most potent psychedelics on Earth. Why do they call it the spirit molecule, and why is it so mysterious, even though it’s within us all? It’s time to find out with Mitch Schultz and Joe Rogan.

Why you should watch it: Many people don’t know this, but the main substance that causes the hallucinogenic, psychoactive effect in Ayahuasca is, in fact, n-dimethyltryptamine, aka DMT. Throughout this documentary, they mention Ayahuasca several times, but more importantly, they explain what makes Ayahuasca so potent and the science behind DMT.

Again, the entire documentary can be found on YouTube – it’s one of my favorites on the list, so I recommend it wholeheartedly- Check it out above.

6. ‘Embrace of the Serpent’ (2015)

What it’s about: Karamakate is an Amazonian shaman – the last survivor of his tribe. Two scientists develop a relationship with him and go on an adventure, trying to help him find a sacred healing plant over four decades.

Why you should watch it: This is one of only a handful of live-action movies – not documentaries – on this list. Embrace of the Serpent had incredible reviews and was even nominated for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year at the 2016 Academy Awards.

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It’s an awesome film that technically doesn’t revolve around Ayahuasca but rather the relationship between the last survivor of an Amazonian tribe and the two scientists trying to help him. You can watch the trailer above.

Also, you didn’t hear it from me, but I’ve found the entire movie on YouTube as well. You can watch it here.

7. ‘The Last Shaman’ (2016)

What it’s about: James has struggled with depression for a long time. No therapy, medication, or unorthodox approach works, so he gives himself 12 months before allowing himself to commit suicide. As a last resort to save his own life, he ventures into the Amazon to find a shaman who can save his life with holistic medicine and an Ayahuasca ceremony.

Why you should watch it: While many thought that The Last Shaman is a controversial documentary due to the psychological state of the protagonist, it’s actually a wonderful story that was presented in a phenomenal, artistic way. It can help others battling depression find their own way to deal with it.

Bear in mind, Ayahuasca might not be the right solution for you, but The Last Shaman will certainly give you a different perspective and the information you need to decide what you want and if this might be your ‘last resort’ as well. The full film isn’t available for free, but you can watch the trailer above.

8. ‘The Nature of Ayahuasca’ (2019)

What it’s about: The Nature of Ayahuasca dives into the use of Ayahuasca as a holistic medicine and the effects it has on the physical and psychological health of the person who takes it. 

The maker, Gavin Hoffman, made a spontaneous decision to create the documentary while he was at a retreat, going through his own journey of healing. The Nature of Ayahuasca tries to resolve some stigmas around Ayahuasca and teaches how to consume it ethically, should you choose it instead of modern medicine.

Why you should watch it: I loved the approach that Gavin Hoffman took while making this documentary. Most try to explain why you should or shouldn’t do Ayahuasca, but Hoffman simply gives you the information he can gather and lets you decide what you want to do for yourself.

He got numerous awards for the documentary despite many people claiming he should’ve had more female and indigenous representation in the film, but as he told himself – he worked on no budget and did the best he could. And my, he did a wonderful job! Hoffman shared the entire documentary on YouTube, provided above.

9. ‘Ayahuasca: Drink the Jungle’ (2020)

What it’s about: Aubrey Marcus and Mitch Schultz venture into Peru’s Spiritquest Sanctuary to partake in a powerful, traditional Ayahuasca ceremony. The documentary combines education about Ayahuasca with the team’s personal experience as we look at their journey and the transformational experience provided by the ritual.

Why you should watch it: Aubrey Marcus first talked about his experience with Ayahuasca on a podcast with Joe Rogan, but then he appeared in numerous shows and podcasts related to the same subject. Hence, this documentary was born. Marcus is a great storyteller, while Mitch Schultz is a masterful director who’s well-acquainted with the subject at hand as well.

The 50-ish minute documentary is quite educational and tries to answer all the main questions about Ayahuasca you might have – what is it, what does it feel like to use it, is it the right thing for you, etc. The whole doc is on YouTube, provided above.

10. ‘The Dangerous World of Ayahuasca’ (2017)

What it’s about: This half-hour documentary talks not only about the popularity of the use of Ayahuasca in modern society but also about the dangers of it. Many travelers decide to venture into the Amazon to experience the Ayahuasca rituals from real shamans and indigenous folk – but they fail to realize that it’s a highly dangerous endeavor.

Not just because of Ayahuasca, but the entire journey, as the Amazon might be the most dangerous jungle in the world…

Why you should watch it: If you’re here just to listen about great trips and ultra cool benefits of Ayahuasca, then this documentary won’t be for you. One must understand that visiting the Amazon and doing Ayahuasca is always a life-changing experience. However, it’s not always a positive experience, and this documentary sums it up quite nicely.

The full documentary is on YouTube, provided above.

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11. ‘Ayahuasca, Expansão da Consciência’ (2018)

What it’s about: This documentary, translated to Ayahuasca: Expansion of Consciousness, tells the whole story of Ayahuasca – from her traditional, early days used only in the Amazon Forest to its expansion into the Santo Daime religion, all the way to its popularity in today’s modern world.

Why you should watch it: I loved this particular documentary because it provides multiple perspectives. It isn’t just about individual experience or just about the religious aspect of Ayahuasca ceremonies. It’s a documentary that combines all the aspects – science, religion, and personal experience into one cool one-hour documentary.

The entire thing is also on YouTube, and you can watch it above.

12. ‘HouseBroken: Who’s Trippin’?’ (TV Episode 2023)

What it’s about: Jill does Ayahuasca, which unlocks her ability to communicate with animals. It allows her to connect with her pet dog, Honey, on a much deeper, more personal level. Meanwhile, she shares with Chief that he’s adopted and that she’s not his real biological mother.

Why you should watch it: HouseBroken isn’t actually a show about Ayahuasca – it’s a funny, adult animated TV show about a dog who conducts a therapy group for pets in the neighborhood, voiced by Lisa Kudrow, aka Phoebe from Friends.

I loved this episode, as it was absolutely hilarious seeing Jill bam-smacked on Ayahuasca, talking to Honey. It’s a light-hearted ending of the list that’s, well, not so light when you think of it. Even if you don’t really watch HouseBroken, you might like this episode and the jokes revolving around the use of Ayahuasca.

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