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Foreign Correspondent -

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(generated from captions) We meet Chloe,
a 15-year-old girl whose disability has made her
the target of constant bullying. Chloe said that she hated
her life, she wanted to die. I received messages, and it made me, like,
die inside. What we were doing
was just not working.

We take the same approach, rigging her with hidden cameras
and setting up a group session. But this time,
the results are very different. They don't actually want to see
what I've been through. I look at this situation and I think we've got to pull
the pin on today's session. I'm walk in and he starts
yelling at me like, "Why are you recording me?" The bullies found out. Captions by Ericsson
Access Services Copyright Australian
Broadcasting Corporation

Iquitos is on the banks
of the Amazon. It was once famous
for exporting rubber to Europe.

These days, it's a mecca for anyone trying to get their hands
on a new 'it' drug - a natural high known as ayahuasca.

Here, they call it 'the medicine', and each year, tens of thousands
are coming to try it. Many of those are Australians. Some claim it can cure everything
from cancer to heroin addiction. But not all ayahuasca experiences
end well.

I want to investigate
the death of one young man.

This is where Matt Dawson-Clarke's
journey into the Amazon began and it's where it ended. And that's why we've come here - to try and get some answers
about how he died and why.

(PHONE RINGS) WOMAN: It was a Sunday afternoon.

The phone was ringing
and usually I'll ignore it, but for some reason I thought,
"Oh, I've got to get that call." Hello? It's Lyndie here. And then I got this really heavy
accent that came through, saying, "Is that, um...
is that Matthew's mum?"

And I can remember thinking,
"What... Who's this?" I'm sorry, who are you?

And she said to me, "I was...
I'm so sorry for your loss." At that point,
my heart just stopped, and I think I started
screaming at her. And I just said,
"What are you talking about?" And she said, "I was on a retreat
with your son. "Matthew died.
He died three days ago."

My world stopped that day.

So, now I had...

..a son apparently dead. I didn't know where he was.

And this is my world. You know? It doesn't happen
to people like me. And it doesn't happen to my son.

Like so many young people
from this part of the world, Matt was living and working
in London.

From there, he got work
on a superyacht, taking clients through the waters
of the Mediterranean, all the way to the Caribbean.

MAN: Matt had a lot of promise, and the saddest part of it all,
apart from losing our boy, is that the opportunity of seeing
what he was gonna become, we're not gonna have.

Yeah, landing on each other would be
shit. Let's not do that, OK? (WOMAN LAUGHS, SPEAKS INDISTINCTLY)

(SCREAMS)

On 6 September 2015, Matthew Dawson-Clarke's family
at home in Auckland desperately start searching
for information. They reach the tour operator in Peru,
Andy Metcalfe, and record the call. STUART: I want somebody to tell me
where Matt is. ANDY METCALFE: Uh, he's currently
in the morgue in Iquitos. In where? In the Iquitos morgue.

To have to say goodbye
to one of your kids, all you know is you want as much
of them back as you can get.

Can I rely on you
to help us track things down so we can do the right thing
for our son? LYNDIE: This is our son. ANDY: Of course, of course. Please, I beg of you, do you have anyone that can
help us there find our son?

It turns out Andy Metcalfe had told
other members of the retreat he'd broken the news
to Matt's family.

He told them that he had told
the parents what had happened. So he lied. He never told us at all.
He's acknowledged that since.

Iquitos holds a lot of the answers, not just about Matt's death, but also about why so many people
are being drawn to ayahuasca. This ancient custom
once confined to the Amazon has spread like wildfire
on the internet. It's now even available in countries
like Australia and America.

Now we're going just down...
This is the Itaya River. We're just taking a short ride
down here to Mamaycuna, to the land, and then if it's flooded, we'll
go in through the Camu Camu orchard. Freddie Findlay is a British expat
who lives here. Stunning area.
Yeah, it's lovely. From a successful child actor
in London to a drug addict living on
the streets of Peru's capital, Lima, he's now an apprentice shaman -
a traditional healer. Tonight, Freddie's agreed to host us
for an ayahuasca ceremony.

Just be careful getting off here.
Yeah. 'Cause the floor's really slippy. Sure.
Yeah?

Thank you.

This is Mamaycuna.
OK.

(PANTS) Best way to start the day.
(CHUCKLES) Ayahuasca only grows
in the Amazon jungle, and when brewed with other plants, it's one of the most powerful
hallucinogens on earth. It's illegal in most Western
countries, but not here in Peru. Each retreat has its own recipe. If you just drunk this by itself,
you would just purge. You know? You'd just vomit, um,
and go to the bathroom. Um, but the combination of
the ayahuasca and the chacruna and the other two things
is what makes our medicine.

(WHISTLES CHEERFULLY)

You know, I guess I've always... I have a history of,
you know, drug abuse. And from an early age, you know,
from when I was 13, 14 onwards, you know, with crack, heroin...

Also did a lot of, you know, ecstasy
and acid and things like that, but, you know, the harder drugs,
I had problems with them. You know, from having
quite a good career and earning some good money...

..you know, having a lot of things,
I lost everything. What proportion of the people
do you think coming here are trying to deal with
an addiction of some form? A lot of them. Some people have, you know,
an addiction to marijuana. Other people that are doing heroin,
other people that are doing coke. You know, whatever it is,
there's a lot of them coming. So, how effective do you think it is as a mechanism for
dealing with addiction? I think it's very effective. And I would say that I'm
living proof of it, you know? Because I was a mess, you know?
A big mess.

How safe is it to come here
and try this? Um, it's very safe. Again, as long as you're with
the right person, you know, the right people. You know how this works, you know. Nothing happens like that.
(CLICKS FINGERS) People come here to drink ayahuasca
for all sorts of reasons. There are the sick and vulnerable,
people with addictions, and with post-traumatic stress. I feel now, like, totally symmetric, and before, I felt
absolutely asymmetric. But there's also the younger crowd. A lot of them just come
for the adventure.

(DOG BARKS)

Well, the afternoon light
is disappearing pretty quickly, and inside, they're preparing
for their ayahuasca ceremony. We are allowed to watch, but the whole thing is gonna
happen in darkness.

FREDDIE: What we're gonna do now
is prepare the medicine. We're gonna...
(SPEAKS FOREIGN LANGUAGE) We're gonna sing to the medicine. (MAN WHISTLES A TUNE)

This ceremony will continue
for the next five or six hours, as will the singing and the purging.

Salud.
Salud, brother.

Salud.
Salud.

(BLOWS) (SINGS IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

(SINGING CONTINUES)

(SPITS)

(COUGHING)

(SPITTING)

(COUGHS, CLEARS THROAT)

(LAUGHS) Fantastic.

How are you, man?
I'm alright. (LAUGHS)

MAN: I think about Matt every day, even though I don't...let myself
think about it very long.

After Matthew Dawson-Clarke's death, his parents began contacting
the other guests from the retreat to find out what happened. They reached Richard, from Texas. (STARTS MOTORCYCLE)

There's not one day that has gone by that I haven't thought about him
or his family and the pain that they
must have been going through and are going through right now.

Talking about his ayahuasca journey
could cost Richard his job, so we've agreed to keep his identity
and his real name secret.

Like many others, he hoped
this drug would relieve his PTSD, brought on by working as a paramedic
with the fire department. Instead, it only made things worse.

I'm still... I feel more lost now
than I was when I started. And the shameful thing is
that I was on my way. You know? I was almost there.

Here's what we understand happened
to Matt on 3 September 2015.

It begins the morning after a wild
night of dancing around the fire. In preparation for another
ayahuasca ceremony, Matthew drinks a powerful brew
of tobacco tea, part of the cleansing ritual. Within 15 minutes, he feels unwell.
He says he thinks he's been poisoned.

Matt is attended by the shaman
who prepared the tea, Don Lucho, and a helper, Carolina.

At one point during the day,
they cycle Matt's legs, as if to maintain circulation.

RICHARD: My intuition as a medic, as someone who's been doing this job
for a while...

..was that something wasn't right
with Matt. Richard, the paramedic, offers help, but is turned away at the door
by Carolina.

It's not until the very end
of the day, at 5pm, when Matt goes into cardiac arrest, that Richard is finally
enlisted to help. Does he have a pulse or something?
Do you feel a pulse? I realised that
I was the only person there that was medically trained. No-one had any first aid training
or CPR training at all.

A frantic effort begins - CPR, a vehicle to get Matt
to hospital. Deep in the Amazon, it's
a dangerous and difficult journey. The vehicle gets bogged.
It even tips over.

Eventually, making it down the river
just before midnight, Matthew Dawson-Clarke's body
is released to the morgue.

Richard is still deeply troubled
by the events of that week. I mean, he's just a 24-year-old kid,
for Godsakes, you know? He shouldn't be dead.
He went there to go better himself. To become a better person,
a better human being. (EMOTIONALLY) And I'm sorry
that I couldn't, uh...

I tried, you know? I tried...
(LAUGHS) Sorry. Are you OK?
Yeah. I mean, I...I tried so hard. I did... ..everything in my power
to save their son. And, uh, you know...

..I'm sorry.

The striking thing about Matt's death is that no-one has ever been
held accountable. In the year and a half since, another five people have died
in this region in connection with
ayahuasca retreats.

The investigation into Matt's death
was closed last year, and the shaman, Don Lucho,
is still operating Kapitari, the retreat where Matt died, and still offering
that same tobacco tea. That's where I'm heading now.

Well, it's fair to say
this place is remote. It's taken us two boat journeys
to get here, a good... Buenos dias.
Buenos dias. ..a good 30-40 minutes' walk in
deeper into the jungle. There is no phone reception,
or patchy reception, and no electricity. If something goes wrong out here,
you're a long way from help.

Finding Don Lucho may help answer some of the many questions
about Matt's death.

Well, there's Kapitari.

MAN: Hola! Whoo! Whoo!

Hi. I'm Hamish.
I'm from the ABC, Australia. (WOMAN INTERPRETS)
My name is Ori. We were hoping to speak with
Don Lucho, if that's possible. We have some questions. Don Lucho?
Yeah.

It turns out the man we've come here
to find has gone to town for the day.

WOMAN: Australia.
Australia...

So we race back to the port
to find Don Lucho is waiting. We just have a few questions about
the death of Matthew Dawson-Clarke. We're looking into his case.

I'd like to understand why you didn't
take him to hospital that day.

But he took the tobacco tea
very early in the day and immediately he said
that he thought he'd been poisoned, and it wasn't until 5pm
when you asked others for help.

And have you got anything
you want to say to Matthew Dawson-Clarke's parents?

Don Lucho might say
there's no issue with tobacco teas, but in the very same year
that Matt died, a young Canadian woman died
after drinking one too.

And while Don Lucho says
Matt's death is not his fault, remember the tour operator,
Andy Metcalfe, from the phone calls? He's never been held
accountable either. (SPEAKS INDISTINCTLY) I just want to know if we might be
able to talk to you for the story. After initially agreeing
to see us one day... It'd be better to talk to you
and get your version of things.

Yeah, that's OK. ..when it comes to meeting the next
day, Andy is giving us the slip. He's about to disappear
into the jungle, where he now owns his own retreat, and he's texted saying he's too busy.

On a tip-off, we learn
that's not quite true. Andy is in fact just down the road,
having lunch at the Karma Cafe. Sorry, I heard you were down here,
so I thought I'd come and say hi... It's our last chance
to get some answers about his responsibility
to his clients. Guys like Andy make
a lot of the money in this largely unregulated
industry, often more than the local shamen do. But, you know, clearly there were
people that were very upset. A lot of things were said... A lot of people are still trusting
Andy Metcalfe with their lives in these remote jungle retreats, so we decide to secretly record
his response.

But what about things
like first aid and training and, like, plans for
if things go wrong?

Mmm.

But I guess
when you accept the money, you take some responsibility, right?

"Shit happens"? Well, that's not
how Matt's family sees this.

The reality is that
Matt Dawson-Clarke paid US$650 to go to a retreat, Kapitari, that we've learned was and still is
operating illegally, and when things went wrong for Matt, it was another tourist,
Richard from Texas, who had to try and save him. What sort of stands out to me is
that it wasn't the staff that, sort of, initiated
taking Matt to hospital. I was the one that had to take
charge of this whole situation. There was no help.
Don Lucho didn't come. He didn't come, you know,
with us along the way to the boat. He wasn't there.
I did feel...I did feel like... Did he take responsibility for Matt? I've never...I've never heard him
take responsibility. Andy's saying that
he'd told the parents. Was he telling the truth?

I would say not.

So will anyone ever be forced to
take responsibility for this death?

Since we've been working
on this story, there's been a huge development. Matt Dawson-Clarke's family
lodged a formal complaint with the Peruvian authorities, and that's now led them
to reopen the investigation.

As a result, Don Lucho is now
inside this building making a pointed claim
to the prosecutor that Matthew Dawson-Clarke
may have been using other drugs just before coming to the retreat.

Now, Matt did tell others
on the retreat that like many young people,
he'd used some drugs in the past. But the claim made by Don Lucho is
not supported by any actual evidence.

Andy Metcalfe says that he takes
no blame for what happened, that he was just a middleman.

Don Lucho still hasn't been charged, and convictions for ayahuasca-related
deaths are very rare.

So, what we've got here
is one of the autopsy reports that's come out of Peru... Matthew Dawson-Clarke's family
has now spent a year and a half fighting for justice
and fighting for answers. "..referring to the comment
about stimulant drugs "such as cocaine
or methamphetamine - "no information regarding this
in the case. "Neither of these drugs
were detected "by the post mortem
and tox analysis." The post-mortem from Peru blames pneumonia leading to
cardiac arrest for Matt's death. But in New Zealand, so far a coronial
inquest remains inconclusive, and an autopsy report points to
possible nicotine poisoning. "Possible nicotine toxicity", which fits exactly with
what we believe to be the occasion that led to him
being given the tobacco tea.

On the accusation about Matt using
drugs before he went to Kapitari, his family and the available
evidence are clear. Well, Matthew wasn't a drinker. He certainly wasn't
a methamphetamine addict. Our belief is pretty simple - is the rumours that were
proliferating out of Peru really just were to give themselves,
they thought, some breathing space, I believe. Because at the end of the day,
they're too easily disproved. (WOMAN SPEAKS INDISTINCTLY) But you do, though.
That's the thing. There's a part of you
that's gonna be forever empty. It can't be undone, and you go through regular periods where you just actually, um... ..you just want to
go and be with him.

And that's often at the expense
of those that are still with us while you're alive, because it's very easy just to go,
"I don't want to be here anymore." LYNDIE: Took a very long time.
Mmm. Lyndie Dawson-Clarke
even had to fight just to get Matt's belongings
back home from Peru. This is my place of remembrance. What is it about the physical,
the physical things, do you think? It reminds me. I mean, every day when I go walking
in the morning, as I'm coming down the driveway,
I yell out to the universe, "I have a son. His name's
Matthew James Dawson-Clarke." (TEARFULLY) Because people forget
and their lives move on, but for me,
my life stopped that day and...

..I have to remember
that I have a son. These physical things
remind me that... ..he was my boy and he lived here,
and he still does live here. She wants anyone thinking about
ayahuasca to know the risks. I think for me, personally...

..it wasn't the aya
that took my son, it was the tobacco purge
that took my son. They need to be aware that
it may not be right for everybody, and if you are
a really healthy individual, what are you putting
into your system, and the possibility of you dying
can happen. I'm not here to tell people
what to do with their lives. I'm just here to say be aware.

How would you describe what it is
you've been through? It's now been...

..16 months of darkness and...

..of torment
and of me searching for my son.

Trying to... Because my belief was that
he was in such agony when he died and I wasn't there to save him.

Captions by Ericsson Access Services Copyright Australian
Broadcasting Corporation

Two households. WOMAN: Beginnings of movies
have got to be way above sensational.

You have to establish style. That's the most important thing.

Jill Bilcock is one of the half dozen
best film editors in the world.

WOMAN:
Jill is the common denominator behind many
of Australia's favourite films. One can be luck, two's coincidence. Three - there's a trend. Four - there's a proof.

(SCREAMS HAPPILY) My darling. The editor, Jill.

I want wild. I want innovative,
unusual and visually extraordinary. WOMAN: She's so full of life,
so irreverent, but is incredibly respectful
of other people's voices. You gotta cut the bogus, and then it comes together
as something quite emotional, and that's what life is about,
isn't it?

Now, the next one
is going to, um, 6... 11C, 6. This is a big moment.

Oh! Ohh. You gotta look at this. (LAUGHS)

Oh, my God. She's fabulous.

(LAUGHS)

The last thing you want
in a cutting room is an editor who is cold...

..and is not moved by the footage
they're working on.

And Jill is the opposite of that. We love it.
Love it. Those girls are gonna be brilliant. (LAUGHS)

For me, editing is about having
hundreds of options. You have to decide, first of all,
what emotionally touches you. You also edit for structure, and then
you, most of all, edit for rhythm.

BLANCHETT: An editor
has an almost impossible task of guiding
an audience's perspective. Where are they going to look? How are they going to look? How are they going
to feel about that moment, on so many subtle levels. And Jill is the master at that.

Do you remember Miss Harridiene? The school teacher. Sometimes you just need to give
a little bit more backstory. And a little bit more detail
to build characters, to invest in that character.

What about Mr Almanac? The chemist. I don't even know who you are.

My nature is to
strongly connect with emotion, and to deliver an emotional outcome.

And it comes from being brought up
by a single parent and not much parenting,
and a lot of independence, and a lot of time observing people
growing up, particularly adults.

My father was inclined
to leap on to tables and sprout Shakespeare
and jump off, and start throwing cups around,
and smashing things.

My mother
was such a strong influence. She was left with three children,
with no support.

I think what it did was,
it opened up something in me which was about the struggle
to be an artist.

It became very glamourous to suffer,
I think... (LAUGHS) ..to become an artist.

With my mother
being in technical education, she encouraged me
to go to Swinburne, and I got in when I was 15, so I was the youngest there.