When local movie critic Guru Joan Ellis reaches out to say I need to go see such and such movie, I go right away.
I will be the first to admit that “The Lost City of Z” was not on my bucket list. Previews looked ok but the two hour and 24 minutes length makes things tricky.
But when Joan says go, I GO... and very happy I did. Didn't realize till the credits that this film was based about an early 20th century United Kingdom military man named Percy Fawcett was true. Having no military bars, his earlier in life mapping skills led his superiors to send him to South American to mediate a dispute a borderline dispute between Peru and Bolivia.
Leaving behind his wife (played very supportively by Sienna Miller), a young son with another on the way, he heads off for a several year assignment. Near the end of his task near in the Amazon river and adjacent jungles, he stumbles upon pieces of developed pottery that
hints at a progressive civilization vs. just pods of savages. This “find” triggers a career epiphany to change his skills and focus from surveyor to explorer (though generally laughed at when he returns and pitches the National Geography community for financial support for a another trip (which he finally gets).
Pretty amazing to imagine these explorers could survive at all in the jungle/river with all the disease, lack of food, freshwater,medicine, natives, animals and so much more. That feeling of immense adversity comes through powerfully on screen).
Clearly as they got further into the jungle the danger level escalates. But his hunger to find the lost city/civilization drives Fawcett and some of his team relentlessly (while others want no part of the this endless and dangerous journey.
The credits at the end explain a lot and provided a good bit of historical education. This was an enjoyable movie to watch and you definitely felt drawn in to be part of his exploration and his hunt for “The Lost City”.