River of Death (1934)

Aloha Wanderwell credit:

Real life Tarzan and Jane style anthropology in deepest South America.

Alhoa Wanderwell was born in Canada in 1906, and at an early age became an American internationalist, explorer, author, filmmaker and aviatrix. While still a teenager, she joined an expedition to travel across the world by Ford 1918 Model T. Aloha began her adventuring career when she met her traveling companion, Walter “Cap” Wanderwell, in 1922. They married in 1925 and had two children as they continued to travel the world, recording their journeys on 35mm nitrate and 16mm film. While stranded in Brazil, she lived among the Bororo people and recorded the earliest film documentation of them for six weeks. This was a bonus since the Wanderwells were searching for lost explorer Captain Percy Fawcett. It is this film that we proudly showcase here.

In 1932, her husband was murdered on his yacht Carma in Long Beach, California. Aloha later married Walter Baker and continued her travels, ultimately visiting over 80 countries and six continents, and driving over 500,000 miles.

1934 • Alhoa Wanderwell • B/W 35mm • 20 mins

Photo credit: Aloha Wanderwell Film Collection – Academy Film Archive