As one of the most hotly anticipated travel films of the year is released – Bruce Parry’s Tawai – we wanted to share a few thoughts on the documentary and the man himself, as an exceptional TV travel pioneer.
I’ve been a fan of Bruce Parry for a long time but he isn’t one of the more famous names in travel, so you’d be forgiven if you haven’t heard of him. He is – in my opinion – one of the best at making travel films, so check his work out.
See more: Bruce Parry’s travel films feature on our best travel documentaries ever made list, amongst many others.
I first got to know Bruce, through his ‘Tribe’ TV show. It has been one of the most exploring travel shows on TV in recent years. The series takes us to far-flung, remote places but with a twist. The major difference with a show like ‘Tribe’ is the integration with local people.
I’m not just talking about integrating with people who speak a different language but people who have an entirely different way of life. Perhaps even the most different way of life from our own, that it is possible to find on planet earth.
Bruce Parry is a man with a special skill. He is able not only to visit a place, understand it and explain it articulately but what is truly exceptional about Parry, is his ability to integrate himself with its people.
Parry has become an honorary member of remote tribes the world over; from the Amazon basin, to the plains of Africa, through the jungles of Borneo.
The most undeveloped parts of the world are magnetic to Bruce. Without being able to speak the local language, it is his manner, awareness and genuine intrigue that ingratiate him with the tribes he encounters.
In short, Parry trades in respect. The indigenous people he encounters, feel that and accept him as a result. Respect is a currency accepted in all cultures; it transcends borders, religions, races and languages.
Imagine if our world leaders took a leaf out of Bruce Parry’s book. Trump would be a much more understanding man. Theresa May would be less of a self-interested careerist. Putin would run a more honest regime. Kim Jong Un would perhaps realise that if he worked with other nations, it would be in the benefit of everyone. I am confident the world would be a happier and safer place.
Tawai – A Voice from the Forrest
For Bruce Parry’s new project, he steps up from the small screen to present and direct his first feature-length documentary: Bruce Parry’s Tawai – A Voice From The Forest.
There is so much we can learn as travellers, backpackers and adventurers from Bruce Parry. Based on past performances, ‘Tawai‘ is bound to be a unmissable film and an eye-opening experience.
To see where the documentary is showing near you, head over to the Bruce Parry Tawai website. I’ve just seen the film myself and can vouch, it is a well made, eye-opening experience.
See more: We have lots more incredible travel films on our site.
DO NOT CONTINUE READING IF YOU DON”T WANT TO READ TAWAI SPOILERS
I think the key thing I learned from watching ‘Tawai‘ is that we must have been a more egalitarian people, in the days when we were hunter gatherers. The film shows that the indigenous people of the forests of Borneo are complete equals to one another. Everything is shared.
We accept now, in the western culture that competing against each other is how we live. After watching ‘Tawai‘ I have seen that it needs not be this way. Competition is a basic value of capitalism but can you imagine what we would achieve if we didn’t work against each other but with each other.
I am interested in finding ways to improve how I live me life. I educate myself of many approaches and subjects. The latest documentaries tell me how the most modern scientists are finding new techniques and ways to help us. But here we have an indigenous tribe, living in a way which most people on earth haven’t done for thousands of year, and they are infinitely more in tune with each other and themselves. Perhaps this is a skill we need to relearn.
I would say I am a person who values egalitarianism and I would like to see a more equal world. Watching ‘Tawai‘ has helped me to gain an insight into how we can best achieve that.