Screenshot, "The Burden of Dreams" (1982) a feature-length documentary and making-of directed by Les Blank, shot during and about the chaotic production of Werner Herzog's 1982 film Fitzcarraldo, filmed in the jungles of South America.
"The question of hearsay had a deeper dimension and required research of an entirely different kind. [Arguing for their title to the land] the Indians could only claim that they’d always been there; this they had learned from their grandparents. When, finally, the case appeared hopeless, I managed to get an audience with the President, [Fernando] Belaúnde. The Machiguengas of Shivankoreni elected two representatives to accompany me. [In the President’s office in Lima] when our conversation threatened to come to a standstill, I presented Belaúnde with the following argument: in Anglo-Saxon law, although hearsay is generally inadmissible as evidence, it is not absolutely inadmissible. As early as 1916, in the case of Angu vs. Atta, a colonial court in the Gold Coast (today Ghana) ruled that hearsay could serve as a valid form of evidence.
That case was completely different. It had to do with the use of a local governor’s palace; then, too, there were no documents, nothing official that would have been relevant. But, the court ruled, the overwhelming consensus in hearsay that countless tribesmen had repeated and repeated, had come to constitute so manifest a truth that the court could accept it without further restrictions. At this, Belaunde, who had lived for many years in the jungle, fell quiet. He asked for a glass of orange juice, then said only Good god, and I knew that we had won him over. Today the Machiguengas have a title to their land; even the consortium of oil firms that discovered one of the largest sources of natural gas [in the world] directly in their vicinity respects it." Werner Herzog, On the Absolute, the Sublime and Ecstatic Truth