Five men work together in a communal effort to build a skiff on Ile-aux-Coudres, an island in the St. Lawrence River. It is built in a traditional fashion, all the more remarkable because no blueprint is used. The film does not merely record a building tradition, it reveals the character of the craftsmen, who are influenced by a pre-industrial way of life underscored by spontaneity and wit.
A New York University professor returns from a rescue mission to the Amazon rainforest with the footage shot by a lost team of documentarians who were making a film about the area's local cannibal tribes.
Misery is brought to a small group of Sho in the Kalahari desert in the form of a cola bottle. In his quest to throw the evil object over the edge of the earth, Xixo encounters Western "civilization," a haphazard doctor and a tyranical despot.
A research scientist (William Hurt) explores the boundaries and frontiers of consciousness. Using sensory deprivation and hallucinogenic mixtures from native American shamans, he explores these altered states of consciousness and finds that memory, time, and perhaps reality itself are states of mind.