MILLENNIUM: TRIBAL WISDOM AND THE MODERN WORLD
Series written by Adrian Malone and Amanda McConnell; produced by Michael
Grant and Richard Meech Biniman Productions and Telefilm Canada,
1992.1: Shock of the Other. 2: Strange Rein irons, 3; Mistaken Identity, 4: An Ecology ofMind, 5: The Art of Living, 6: Touching the
Timeless, 7: A Poor Man Shames Us All. 8:
Inventing Reality, 9: The Tightrope of Power, 10:
At the Threshold. 5 VMS cassettes, $129.95 (includes resource package]. Distributed by New Vision Media, 150-12140 Horseshoe Way, Richmond, B.C. V7A 4V5.
Volume 21 Number 2
Millennium is a series of ten one-hour videos that explore worldwide issues in both Western and tribal societies. The videos are designed to stimulate discussion and an awareness of solutions other than western to these age-old issues.
" Progress is not a force, like gravity, but a belief. Because we believe that life will always get better, we accept change. Tribal societies often value tradition because they believe that a way of life has been entrusted to them by gods or by their ancestors." From this perspective, David Maybury Lewis, an anthropologist, explores issues common to all societies such as love and marriage, wealth and poverty, individual and group needs, health and sickness, and religion and spirituality. He looks at eleven indigenous societies in different parts of the world and at Western society, often Canadian. Often the customs of society are presented through the eyes of a main character representing each group.
Maybury Lewis is impressed by tribal wisdom and suggests that their solutions give us all something to ponder. For example, in the program A Poor Man Shames Us All, Maybury Lewis suggests that "things" satisfy our connection to society, whereas in a sub-Saharan society, "love or relationships" with people determine a person's wealth.
The anthropologist is philosophical in commenting on differences in societies and has collected all sorts of little sayings, such as, "In some societies, an individual 'sends the road out' instead of 'following the road.'" The appeal of these sayings changes with the audience.
The cinematography is superb and the pace is leisurely. Supplementary materials include a brief overview of each video and addresses of organizations supporting the theme of the video.
Certainly Maybury Lewis's own philosophy and what was included in the video to document his perspective will generate discussion. He does not attempt to find any solutions to these issues such as poverty or injustice- His praise for tribal wisdom never comments on the role of women in most of these societies, although the main characters include both men and women. Likely the intended audience is adults interested in analyzing societies and discussing philosophy.
Meredith MacKeen is a teacher-librarian a! Souris Regional High School in Souris, Prince Edward Island
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