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Q: Looking for resources relating to the true story behind the film "Emerald Forest ( Answered 3 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Looking for resources relating to the true story behind the film "Emerald Forest
Category: Reference, Education and News > General Reference
Asked by: tpreston-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 02 Sep 2005 16:38 PDT
Expires: 02 Oct 2005 16:38 PDT
Question ID: 563712
I am looking for information about the true story behind the film
"Emerald Forest" (1985, Director John Boorman). I already know all the
summary details provided by the various movie reviews available. What
I am looking for is any in-depth accounts of the real story that may
be in print. I'm looking for information on what
happened to these people in the following years...

Clarification of Question by tpreston-ga on 02 Sep 2005 16:40 PDT
I also am already aware of a book John Boorman wrote about the filming
of the movie. But what I am looking for is not information about the
movie, but information about the real people the movie is based on
(Bill and Tommy Markham)

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 02 Sep 2005 19:41 PDT

Thanks for an interesting question.  I vaguely remembered this story,
and was intrigued to find out more.

However, there appears to be only a bit more to find out!  In
Boorman's book, he states that the movie was based on a single
newspaper article that appeared in 1972, and I've managed to locate
the article.

Although the basic outlines of the story were adopted for the film,
the actual details are quite different.

The family involved was Peruvian.  The father was a lumberman, rather
than a builder of dams.  He did indeed search for eleven years for his
abducted son, but on finding him, the son -- who is the chief of the
tribe -- elects to stay with his tribe.  Oddly, though, he later turns
up at his father's house, stating he was having trouble maintaining
control of the tribe.  Odder still, he then returns with his brother,
who offers to help him regain control.

An unusual story, to be sure, but one that is related rather briefly
in the article.  I have not seen any follow-up information beyond this
one newspaper story.  The names of the family in the story are never
mentioned, which makes subsequent searching rather difficult.

I cannot post the article in full, since it is protected by copyright.
 But I can provide excerpts to it, along with a citation, so you could
obtain a full copy from the library.

Let me know if that would meet your needs.


Clarification of Question by tpreston-ga on 03 Sep 2005 19:17 PDT
I was hoping to find out about the real people and what happened to
them; but finding the article is still nonetheless a real help. So
please post the citation so I can retrieve the full article and I'll
then consider my question answered (as much as it's likely to ever get
answered I suppose without trying to contact the original
reporter--which I may consider).

Thanks for your Help!
Subject: Re: Looking for resources relating to the true story behind the film "Emerald Forest
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 03 Sep 2005 21:08 PDT
Rated:3 out of 5 stars

Thanks for getting back to me on this.

I understand your reaction to the information I gave you earlier. 
Outside of the one LA Times article, this would be a tough story to
track down, since the main protaganists are Peruvian.  It seems likely
that the story was covered much more thoroughly in the Peruvian press
of the time, and if you have a means of exploring this, it may be
worth your while.  Contacting the original reporter also certainly
seems worth a try.

As for the information I found, it comes from an article in the
October 8, 1972 issue of the Los Angeles Times, page E10.  The article
is titled "Long Hunt for Son Ends in Success, but..."

Excerpts from the aricle can be seen here: 

I can't provide the full article since it is copyrighted, but any
librarian should be able to obtain a copy for you.

By the way, Boorman's book, "Adventures of a Surburban Boy" devotes a
chapter to the Emerald Forest, and was the source for my information
about the article in the LA Times.  You may want to search out a copy
of this book, if you haven't seen it already:

I trust this information fully answers your question.  

However, please don't rate this answer until you have everything you
need.  If you would like any additional information, just post a
Request for Clarification to let me know how I can assist you further,
and I'm at your service.

All the best,


search strategy -- Searched Google and several newspaper databases for:

["emerald forest" ]
[brazil markham engineer]
[brazil boy father found years]
tpreston-ga rated this answer:3 out of 5 stars
The researcher did not find exactly what I was looking for but did
find ALL that was available online. So the rating only indicates the
necessary incompleteness of the answer and is not a reflection on the
researcher who did a prompt and very good job.

There are no comments at this time.

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