Our time with The San was incredible. We were greeted as wholeheartedly as a returning family. They took us in and showed us how they lived. And of course, they allowed us to harvest their poo for scientific analysis. The San are one of the most happy and relaxed groups of people I have ever met, and their joy in the simplicities of life in the wilderness was a pleasure to experience.
We hunted, we foraged, we played games and relaxed. This was the way of The San people. We found tracks for death adder, hyena surrounded our camp at night and sniffed at our tents, and lions roamed not too far away, enjoying their own hunting on the outskirts of the village. This was the true African wilderness, and we were here filming a movie about gut bacteria. The contradiction was not lost on me or the crew, but we embedded ourselves in the experience with all the gusto necessary to capture the life of The San tribe.
As we returned to Australia we knew we had something special. We had banked hours and hours of incredible footage, beautiful interactions and hilarious scientific research which involved some serious poo harvesting.
When we arrived at the Smart DNA lab in Melbourne, Dr. Margie and Simone seemed like they were sitting on a gold mine. They knew the results were astonishing and positive, and they couldn’t wait to share it with us for the film. They wanted to tell me straight away but I insisted we capture the moment on camera. I didn’t want to know if the results were good or bad until we started rolling.
And what were they? Well, I guess you’ll just have to watch the film to find out 🙂