Ex-Commando, traveller and polite house guest, Bruce Parry brought us with him to visit some of the most remote Jungle people in the world with his TV series Tribe back in the early noughties. He’s back with a more meditative movie TAWAI: A Voice from the Forest.
Bruce is a well-travelled man and has even lived with some eccentric tribes in the course of his lifetime. He told Ryan that there are certain tribes that are deemed as uncontacted, meaning that they chose to have no communication outside their tribe. We don’t know much about them but we can only presume that they have chosen this remote life because of past experiences.
“There are lots of groups that have run away from the rubber barrens for example in the Amazon. So these groups may well be the vestiges of people who were probably well contacted by people in the past and decided to run away.”
Bruce feels that if these tribes chose to remain separate then that’s their prerogative and it’s not for us to go knocking on their door and interfere.
When the topic of civilisation came up, Bruce also reminisced with Ryan when he visited a place in Borneo called Penan where they have no leaders, no laws and are completely egalitarian he stated they are probably the most peaceful group on earth. Bruce then compared them to our society where we think of ourselves as “civilised” because we have Governments to look after us and if we didn’t have them we’d tear each other apart.
“We think of ourselves as being civilised because we have Governments that need to look after us otherwise we would tear ourselves apart and here’s a group with none of that and evidently the most civilised, in the sense they have civil relations with each other.”
Bruce also commented that some of these groups are in awe of the modern world and all the technological advances we have succeeded in. Albeit, for them to invest in such advances and to fuse that into their world, they realise that the things we have, don’t necessarily allow them to hold some of their values in their lives.
“They quite often realise that the things that we have don’t necessarily really allow them to hold some of their other values in the same way.”
Bruce would like people to come away from this production and to see themselves as a part of a bigger picture. He would like people to take responsibility for their actions and to be open-minded that there are other ways of living, other than the life we have now.
“And to see ourselves as part of the bigger picture, a part of the bigger plan and to take responsibility for our actions and to offer hope that there are other ways of being and other ways of living and that they’re available to us still.”
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