Tawai is a word the nomadic hunter-gatherers of Borneo use to describe the connection they feel to their forest home. In this dreamy, philosophical and sociological look at life, Bruce Parry (of the BBC's Tribe, Amazon & Arctic) embarks on an immersive odyssey to explore the different ways that humans relate to nature and how this influences the way we create our societies.
From the forests of the Amazon and Borneo to the River Ganges and Isle of Skye, Tawai is a quest for reconnection, providing a powerful voice from the heart of the forest itself.
The film shares the Penan and the Pirahã's ways of living, providing great inspirations and reflections on what kind of society we can create.
The Penan are the last resilient groups who practice a particular social organisation. They don't have a concept of material property. All that exists in nature has been created for nature to enjoy. All creatures have equal rights to nature.
From their point of view, the idea of property is an ideology, which some human beings have created but is not legitimate, unacceptable. It is sacrilege to what has been created for all. The accumulation of property is seen as a waste.
We haven't always been competitive and aggressive. It's a very recent product of our acquisitive property-based societies, which are a product of the Neolithic, when we started to domesticate animals and crops.
Our shift from a hunter-gather lifestyle to farming only started about 10,000-12,000 years. This likely precipitated a decline in social equality, as food excess was stored and created a means of accumulating wealth and power.
That's where the whole question of power hierarchy got inculcated in what we think of as civilisation, but actually, it's a very young, short-lived and probably suicidal social organisation for humanity. Our enduring social form is the egalitarian one.
The way we experience reality affects how we organise the world around us. Would we behave differently if we could hear what nature is saying like we all once did?
We must learn how to rebalance our inner world and expand our capacity. Empathy beyond our family and friends, to all peoples, all species on the planet which supports us." - Dark Matter Labs