Synopsis by Eleanor Mannikka
Director and writer Juan Schroder spent three years of traveling in the Andes mountains in South America to film species of wildlife that are unusual to these high peaks (film crews ranged from 12,000 to nearly 19,000 feet to capture their subjects on celluloid). Starting at the archaeologically famous Lake Titicaca on the Peru-Bolivia border where divers filmed a rare species of frog that lives at the bottom of the lake -- a lake sacred to the ancient Incas -- and working their way down to the remote Tierra del Fuego on the southern tip of the continent, the camera crew and director made all sorts of unexpected discoveries. Their most spectacular find was the mummified corpse of a man sacrificed 800 years ago by the Incas and left on top of Mount Quehuar - at 18,900 feet. Another surprise was when the crew came upon a colorful maca-tobiano -- a rare bird that was believed to be extinct, but recently had been proven otherwise -- and this accidental find was caught on camera. They were able to visually record the poetry of a flock of flamingos on Lake Villana at 15, 500 feet, the vicuñas grazing in the protected San Guillermo Reserve in San Juan province, a ritual involving the capture and release of a condor, and an Aymara religious ceremony at Lake Titicaca. Along with these unusual moments, there is also footage of animals like the puma (and many others) in action. These three years of exploration of ancient Incan roadways are condensed into 95 minutes of a visually fascinating and seldom-seen segment of the animal kingdom.