Award winning documentarian Bruce Parry visited Nottingham last night to screen and discuss his latest production, Tawai.
Bruce Parry is best known for his BBC Documentaries ‘Tribe’, ‘Amazon’, ‘Arctic’, ‘Blizzard’, and ‘Cannibals & Crampons’, as well as his ‘Serious’ TV series for the CBBC Channel.
His latest production, ‘Tawai – A Voice From the Forest’, screened at Broadway Cinema last night.
Tawai is a feature length documentary for cinemas, and the first that Bruce has both directed and produced himself.
In this thought-provoking investigative piece, explorer Bruce Parry travels the world to discover the meaning of Tawai.
The explorer explained after the screening that coming back to the UK after spending time in such sensitive, mindful cultures is spiritually hard.
He said: “It is hard, but to make it easier you have to focus on your own social group.”
“Of course I keep my dear friends close, but surrounding yourself with likeminded people on the same path as you is the most important thing.”
Tawai is a term used by the nomadic hunter-gatherers of Borneo to describe a feeling which cannot be easily translated to the Western world.
The term attempts to explain their inner feeling of an intrinsic connection to nature, for they believe that we are all ‘one’ in this life, so the world should be treated as though it were family.
This documentary is a philosophical and sociological commentary on life, and explores the differences in not only societal values across the world, but also the vast variations of human nature.
It’s main focus is on how the human psyche has changed since we’ve progressed from hunter-gatherers to using agriculture as a means of survival.
One of the communities Bruce returns to is that of the Penans in Borneo, a group that he spent time with in 2007 during the third BBC series of ‘Tribe’.
During his visit in 2007, these indigenous folk lived a life of free roaming around the forest, hunting when they were hungry and resting wherever they lay their kit.
On Bruce’s return a decade later however, the community is undergoing a period of uncertainty and facing changes on the horizon.
The deforestation of their home for palm oil products is disrupting their lives, and there is a wariness of what their future holds.
Whereas in the past they’d never had to store food or plant crops, the community are now having to plan for what horrors may be just over the horizon due to these powerful, intrusive, Western corporations destroying their livelihood to make a bit of money.
Upon arrival, Bruce visits the Penan’s first permanent lodging, ‘The Longhouse’. This new static way of living is very different to their natural flow through the forest, and it’s evident they are unsettled by this.
Bruce continues his journey to the tributaries of The Amazon, and the documentary comes to a climactic ending when he participates in the sacred ritual of mass bathing in the River Ganges.
The film is being screened in selected cinemas across the UK until the end of November.
For more information on dates and bookings, visit https://www.tawai.earth