Tawai: A Voice from the Forest


If you are curious about the Penan, a 2017 documentary by Bruce Parry is a simple show illustrating their way of life and belief system. The Penans, being semi-nomadic, has always been victims of discrimination by the government and the people who live around them. While this documentary doesn’t delve much into their history or origins, it’s an introduction for those who want an insight into their language, the people and their way of life. Documentarian Bruce weaves his narrative with the Piraha people of the Amazon and the yogis of India to answer the question, what do we need to do to be in balance with the world?

It gets a bit New Age-y at some points, and spouts some questionable romantic ideal of the wandering tribe. It’s less about the Penan and more about the general ideals we hold today and whether humanity is going down the right path. But overall I’d say watch it for the visuals and the way the Penans carry themselves today.


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