Ayahuasca: Kosmik Journey is a 360 film made for Virtual Reality, meaning I went into this with bated breath, as 360 video has to be done correctly. Well, now I have literally sat down and experienced this VR trip, what did I think of it?
Firstly, if you are not aware of what Ayahuasca is, this is and original Shipibo tradition of consuming the plant as a transformative and meditative ritual. This something this movie was hoping to stay faithful to, while using the power of Virtual Reality to take you on a psychedelic journey, guided by an indigenous South American shaman.
You start the experience stood inside of a forest with the shaman sat down in front of you, soon he invites you to sit with him – and for this experience we would recommend taking that seated position for the immersion. After taking this position for our first run of Ayahuasca, we did test it down the line staying standing, and where it works still, seated is recommended.
From here you are taken into the psychedelic journey, which will certainly be colourful and could be scary for some. This is with your trip being mainly dominated by snakes as they guide you through it in more than one way. However, where snakes are the main focal point for the majority of it, you are also accompanied by spiders, skulls, monuments with skulls in the design, and some psychedelic visualizations and I think different people will take different things from this experience.
With this being a film the script is not where this is going to excel, but this is not the main attraction for Ayahuasca. You are given a little description of the Ayahuasca brew that you going to be taking a dose of for your ritual. Then you accompanied through your journey by the chanting of the shaman, which is really all this needed to give the powerful feeling of the visuals and what the experience does.
When coming out of the other side of this experience I was certainly left with the feeling of why can’t all 360 videos be of a quality like this, then I would not have had the bated breath before jumping into the experience. All the tropes that usually go along with 360 video and none existent in this twenty-minute Ayahuasca journey.
We would honestly say if you are wanting to experience a 360 film, this should be the one you chose to have, and we are not surprised it has been internationally recognised for the piece of film it is.
Best Documentary Raindance 2019, Nominee at Tribeca 2019, Annecy 2019, Sandbox Qingdao 2019, BIFAN 2019, Kaohsiung 2019, Sonar 2019, Sitges 2019, MIFF 2019
Trying to enhance the experience
After sitting down through the experience the first time, and being impressed with that I had just seen, I started to think on ways that the experience could be enhanced. With being someone who is keen on burning incense sticks and cones, I decided to burn one of my favourites ‘Rain Forest’ while going through the experience again. I would like to say this idea made a noticeable different, but it really didn’t – However, on the plus side the office now smells like one of my favourite incense.
For the purpose of transparency, this hands-on was completed using a code provided by the company or their respective PR company. The use of a free code does not affect my judgement of this product.