The Lost City of Z is the best movie in 2017 which most people didn’t see. The cinematography is stunningly beautiful and the plot is moving and thoughtful. Filmed in the Amazon jungle, it is the story of a British explorer, whose main discovery is about his inner self.
The Lost City of Z is the true story of Percival Fawcett, a British Army officer whose life is going nowhere in 1905. Advancement in the British Army was still very dependent upon social status, and unfortunately Percival’s father had been a drunk and a disgrace to the service.
Desperate to make a name for himself, Percival (played by Charlie Hunnam) agrees to lead an expedition to explore the length of the Amazon river. Amazingly, even by 1905, no European had yet traversed the complete length of the river. Percival really has no interest in the Amazon or the natives who live in the jungle around it, but he does think the trip will make him famous and help his career.
Percival is lucky enough to have an excellent team including Herny Costin (played by Robert Pattison) as his tough-as-nails second in command. The trip is excruciatingly exhausting and dangerous and it changes the men profoundly. Their main discovery is that the South American Indians are not the “savages” the British had assumed. Despite being almost naked, these natives are intelligent, resourceful and kind. The explorers admire the way the natives are able to use the jungle to provide food, clothing and shelter, whereas the British almost starve to death despite bringing food supplies with them.
Fawcett and his team do find the end of the Amazon, and also discover a few pieces of ancient pottery. They hear stories from the natives that there was once a huge and advanced city in the jungle, that could rival the great European cities.
When Percival Fawcett returns to England he is hailed as a great explorer and becomes world famous. Despite achieving his dream, the victory is bittersweet. His statements that the South American natives are highly intelligent people are ridiculed. No one but other members of his team believe there is a Lost City of Z waiting to be discovered in the jungle. Percival Fawcett dedicates the rest of his life to finding the city and returns to the Amazon 2 more times.
The Lost City Of Z ambitiously covers the period from 1905-1925, including World War I. It is in many ways a “period piece” showing how difficult it is for even the most intelligent people to rise above the norms of their times. Percival’s wife Nina (played by Sienna Miller) helps him to do all the research and raise the funds for his expeditions. She excitedly wants to join him on his expeditions. Despite his advanced views about the South American natives, Percival still believes that the “proper place” for a British wife is at home. Percival absolutely refuses to let Nina come to South America.
Although it is a wonderful film, The Lost City Of Z did not bring in a big box office, making only about $12.7 million in theaters in the U.S. It was a direct theatrical release from Amazon, which is a completely new venture for the company. Apparently Amazon knows how to make a great film for the theaters, but has not yet mastered how to promote a theatrical release.
We highly recommend The Lost City Of Z. If it you cannot find it in the theaters there is no doubt it will be available on Amazon.
- We rate The Lost City Of Z Five Stars *****
- Be sure to read all our movie reviews.