Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Lost City of Z

Presently running on Netflix is the film many of us waited for, the story of Col Percy Fawcett. I took the opportunity to see it earlier this year and was not as disappointed as I expected I would be, considering that the book of the title takes the anthropological cop-out. Yes, I am among those who are convinced that Fawcett found something more substantial than a native village, however complex that village may be. And no offense to the native cultures but they simply are not the answer to the inconveniently complex and advanced ruins found around the world. So you can imagine how I was braced for the 'social science' ending we were sure to be subjected to and how pleasantly surprised I was that the film does not force the issue. I won't spoil details but the ending neither insists Fawcett's fate involved a hidden native village complex nor attempt to depict his lost city of ancient advanced technology. I'm OK with the ending because the rest of the film is an engaging enough cinematic depiction of Fawcett's story which, frankly, is long overdue.

Readers of my nonfiction will be familiar with my book Secret Missions 2: The Lost Expedition of Sir Richard Francis Burton in which I argue -- and present evidence -- that Fawcett's search for 'Z' was a direct result of the eponymous Burton expedition in South America in the 1860s.  I even present the very likely full name of Fawcett's lost city he referred to as only 'Z'. You can purchase my book at, if you're interested. But if you're not familiar with Fawcett's story, I recommend you find a copy of Lost Trails, Lost Cities (aka Expedition Fawcett) edited by Brian Fawcett from his father's own journals and accounts before disappearing in the Mato Grosso. I also recommend watching this film.

With Fawcett finally introduced dramatically to film audiences maybe next we'll see a great adventure movie depicting Fawcett's post-disappearance exploits according to the legend.

-- Walter Bosley, Nov 2017