Edge of Existence
I have to admit that I have been mightily impressed with this new DVD company Athena. Everything that I have watched has been of the very highest caliber. There is a saying about only doing one thing, and doing it well. Athena does documentaries, and does them superbly.

Edge Of Existence stars athlete and investigative journalist Donald MacIntyre, a seasoned veteran with more than two decades of reporting. His mission is find some of the remotest places on earth and live with the locals, as the locals live. Do not get this DVD confused with the plethora of reality TV shows that follow one man being dumped in the middle of nowhere and surviving for a week on grubs and leaves. Edge Of Existence is an exploration of people and culture in remote locations.

This two DVD set contains 4 one hour episodes, and also includes an interesting 16 page pamphlet that can be used to provoke further exploration of these remote civilizations.

Of the four episodes my favorite was about the Bajau Laut, a group of nationless sea gypsies. Their relm is east Malaysia, the Celebes Sea region to be exact. From cradle to grave the sea is their home, wandering from fishing ground to fishing ground. Belonging to no nation they are leery of coming into port, but occasionally they must. Their lifestyle has changed little for hundreds of years with one notable exception, the combustion engine. Most of the Bajau Laut boats now rely on aging engines. This has forced them into becoming more reliant on trading with their land living neighbors, fish for fuel.

Other remote peoples that Donald MacIntyre lives with include the Bedouins of the Kalahari, the Insect Tribe of Papua New Guinea, and Quechuan Indians of the Bolivian Andes. Each of these peoples have learned to survive in their own unique ecosystem. The Quechuan are salt miners, trading salt for staples. The Insect Tribe, a little known group who live in the dense rainforest, steeped in mysticism and mystery. they hunt crocodiles for food and practice strange rituals.

You can order your copy of Edge Of Existence here.

Other Athena title that I have really enjoyed are Every Picture Tells A Story and Brian Sewell’s Grand Tour.

Simon Barrett

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