It’s the desire to do something adventurous at a time when frontiers, in the real sense of the word, are disappearing.
I am having a thoroughly exhausting but most exciting time here…The Asmat is like a huge puzzle with the variations in ceremony and art style forming the pieces. My trips are enabling me to comprehend (if only in a superficial, rudimentary manner) the nature of this puzzle…
We’re not talking about my opinion; the documents show there was a cover up. The docs say, ‘Don’t tell Nelson Rockefeller about this. Say nothing. Mark it secret.’
When we found “Big Michael,” I said, wait a second. I’m certainly not saying it is Michael. It’s very grainy, it’s very small, and there’s really no way to do facial analysis or anything like that. But it does look, at least superficially, like him. So I thought if that’s not Michael—and it would have been eight years after he disappeared—who is it? As far-fetched as it sounds that he might have been there, eight years later, paddling a canoe, that’s kind of the uncertain world we’re dealing with here. And that’s part of the attraction of the story.
It seems that whenever somebody comes out with something, whether it’s Milt’s book or Hoffman’s book or our film or your film, it gets a lot of interest. People are not bored by it, and it does have that kind of almost mythical quality to it: The son of a famous, incredibly wealthy American politician disappears in the jungles of New Guinea and may have been eaten by cannibals. I mean, really, it’s almost too good a story to be true. But whether or not we definitively know what happened, he did disappear there, and at the very least, I think there’s an extremely strong chance that he made it ashore.