Tawai: A Voice From the Forest


Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Fri, Sep 14, 2018 8:00 PM
Film Info
Director:Bruce Parry
Year of Production:2017
Premiere Status:USA Premiere
Indigenous People
Wildlife Protection
Running Time:97 min.


Carrying all they own on their backs, the Penan People of Borneo are one of the last remaining hunter-gatherer peoples in existence that still live a nomadic life - a way of being that predates the dawn of agriculture and the domestication of plants and animals for food.

Their word "Tawai" expresses a feeling for the land that is their home, yet has no equivalent in the dominant languages of today. Might "Tawai" be an expression of something that we no longer feel?

This poetic film follows Bruce Parry (of BBC's Going Tribal, Amazon, and Arctic), on his journey of exploration, from the forests of Borneo to the Indian subcontinent, from deep in the Amazon to the Isle of Skye, investigating what has happened to humankind since we stopped roaming and began to settle, since we stopped flowing with nature and began to shape it to our own needs.

Tawai investigates what has happened to our societies, and our relationships with each other and the world around us. A quest for reconnection, this film provides a powerful voice from the heart of the forest itself.


Expected guest: Director & film’s subject Bruce Parry; Lisa Hoffman (discussion emcee), Zen Priest

Community Partners: Amazon Watch; Center for Biological Diversity; Friends of the Urban Forest.

Bruce ParryBruce Parry is an award-winning documentarian, indigenous rights advocate, author, explorer, trek leader and former Royal Marines commando officer. He employs an ethnographic style and a form of participant observation for his documentaries. His documentary series for the BBC entitled Tribe, Amazon, and Arctic have shown Bruce exploring extreme environments, living with remote indigenous peoples and highlighting many of the important issues being faced on the environmental frontline. Tawai is his first feature film.

Included Shorts

Now You See It (3min) More