Additional Information

Site Information

 Loading... Please wait...

Films 2015 - Vanuatu - Yakel: The Real-Life Avatar Tribe

Yakel: The Real-Life Avatar Tribe

Director: Rachael Wilson, 2011

Language: Tanna language with English subtitles
USA / Vanuatu

Film website:

SYNOPIS: Set in the small, tribal village of Yakel on the Vanuatu island of Tanna, this is the remarkable story of 108-year-old Chief Kowia as he nears the end of his long, eventful life. The survivor of tribal wars, colonization, epidemics, WW2, violent volcanic eruptions, and destructive cyclones, he has remained steadfast throughout to his ‘kastom’ life, choosing to reject the trappings of the modern world in favor of a life free of material goods.

To keep the dangerous world at bay, his people have had to create a world of their own. The jungle provides life’s necessities: clothing is made from grass, village huts from trees. Bush medicine is abundant and food crops thrive in the super-fertile volcanic soils gifted by the relentless, belching eruptions of nearby Mt. Yasur. The tribe’s guidelines of love and respect are played out daily in ritual and ceremony, with all guidance coming from ancestral spirits. It’s a harmonious, peaceful world.

But Chief Kowia is the last of his generation. Facing his mortality, he worries what will happen to his people when he is no longer there to guide them. Will his culture stay strong? Or will the outside world lure his people from their happy, uncluttered lives, tempting them with seemingly greater riches?

Also of concern is the fascination the outside world holds for primitive cultures. Yakel is visited by tourists and film crews seeking a peek at an incredible world that has remained unchanged for hundreds of years.

Without Chief Kowia’s influence, can the people of Yakel continue to hold the world at bay?

Shot in stereoscopic 3D; English subtitles appear in 3D within the 3D footage.