Ayhuasca: Expansion of Consciousness, tells the story of Ayahuasca, from its emergence in the Amazonian Forest, to its popularity with the Santo Daime religion, and on to its arrival in urban centres.
Combining scientific, religious and anthropological perspectives on the use of Ayahuasca in modern society, and in parallel with the director Fausto Noro’s own healing process, Ayhuasca: Expansion of Consciousness provides for the first time, a holistic, yet balanced view of this controversial subject.
At the age of 52 and suffering from terrible chronic back pain, Victor D’Altorio decided to end his life.
Victor was a proud homosexual, a lover of life, honest, and outrageous. As an acting teacher of the Meisner technique for 20 years, he was committed to living in the moment, and accepting all that that had to offer, however painful it may be. But after fighting bone marrow cancer into remission he found himself with debilitating degenerative disc disorder in his neck and back, and he could not deny the pain that he was in or the dim prospects of relief. His personal commitment to truth and honesty made him despise the idea of suicide in the traditional sense. He simply could not cause that pain to the ones he loved. He decided to tell everyone (via his blog) that he was going to kill himself. This is the starting point for our story.
Over the next five months together we see Vic soaking in the tub in pain, making sex jokes, yelling at the cameraman, crying over his deceased partner, teaching eager new students, wavering on the big choice, and bonding with Brendan, the film maker. During this time, Brendan’s mission changes. He stops being simply the filmmaker asking why, and becomes a close friend trying to change Victor’s mind. Brendan puts together an acting class for Victor to teach to remind him of the life he once loved living, he teams with other students to produce the play that Victor had written, he does all he can to convince his new friend and mentor to stick around.