Tawai

Lonely Planet (UK) - - Globetrotter -

The film’s name refers to an in­her­ent con­nec­tion peo­ple have to na­ture. Just how ob­vi­ous was that con­nec­tion to you, liv­ing in th­ese com­mu­ni­ties as an out­sider? One thing that be­came ap­par­ent to me was that th­ese guys are med­i­tat­ing ev­ery day. Hunt­ing is a med­i­ta­tion: you have to be in your senses, fully alert and aware for a pro­longed pe­riod of time, so they’re au­to­mat­i­cally ex­er­cis­ing a part of them­selves that the rest of us usu­ally don’t. Most of the re­li­gions we have to­day have come about since agri­cul­ture and it’s no sur­prise that once we start ma­nip­u­lat­ing na­ture, we sud­denly think that we’re above it, and that God looks like us. What the in­dige­nous groups have to share is that they see them­selves ab­so­lutely as equals within na­ture – part of it, not above it. What can the rest of us learn from their outlook? I gen­uinely think that there are lessons all hu­mans can learn from th­ese peo­ple. They are free in a way that we have no clue about. Wher­ever you are in the so­cial strata of our mod­ern way of liv­ing, we are ex­hibit­ing the stresses of in­di­vid­u­al­ism and sep­a­ra­tion from na­ture, from our­selves, from each other. I be­lieve we carry a mas­sive level of stress be­neath the sur­face about what hap­pens when we die. From my ex­pe­ri­ence, th­ese com­mu­ni­ties don’t have that: they know they’ll be looked af­ter and that when they die, they’ll be re­mem­bered in the ground and in the trees.

Mak­ing Tawai took up five years of your life. Do you feel like the ex­pe­ri­ence changed you? Tribe Ab­so­lutely.se­riesto it un­com­fort­able­come years home, Whenago, be­causeI liv­ing­was I did al­waysmy away.I found readyI was look­ing a dif­fer­ent for­ward­diet, andto clean even sheets though and I could see the great won­ders of the way th­ese peo­ple were liv­ing, my own de­sires were stronger. But Tawai took me on an amaz­ing per­sonal jour­ney and has al­lowed me to be more at peace with less, some­how. I’m con­sid­er­ing start­ing a com­mu­nity to try to emu­late some of their val­ues: fo­cus­ing on longevity, re­spect and the non-dom­i­nance of na­ture. I think it would spread like wild­fire.

‘We think sud­den­lythat we’re above na­ture and that God looks like us’

Ex­plorer and doc­u­men­tary-maker Bruce Parry has lived with some of the world’s most re­mote in­dige­nous peo­ples. This au­tumn sees the re­lease of his first fea­ture-length film, Tawai. Named for the word the no­madic hunter-gath­er­ers of Bor­neo use to de­scribe their con­nec­tion to na­ture, this beau­ti­ful, slow-paced film doc­u­ments Bruce’s months spent liv­ing in tribal com­mu­ni­ties around the world, from the Ama­zon basin to the In­dian sub­con­ti­nent. Here, Bruce tells us about his ex­pe­ri­ences mak­ing the film. lone­ly­planet.com/news Lonely Planet Trav­eller 27 Tawai will be on gen­eral re­lease at in­de­pen­dent cin­e­mas on 22 Septem­ber 2017

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