British filmmaker James W. Griffiths’ We Were Wanderers On A Prehistoric Earth highlights the flora and fauna of Malaysia’s Taman Negara National Park and Cameron Highlands. The short film, made for Tourism Malaysia, takes its inspiration from Joseph Conrad’s novella Heart of Darkness, juxtaposing quotes from the book with images of the rainforest.
“We were wanderers on a prehistoric earth,” says narrator Marlow in Heart of Darkness, “on an earth that wore the aspect of an unknown planet. We could have fancied ourselves the first of men taking possession of an accursed inheritance, to be subdued at the cost of profound anguish and of excessive toil.”
Written in 1899, the quote could apply to any delicate, threatened wild places in the world today, including Canada’s. Griffith’s pairing of narration and image is startlingly effective. The film packs more into three minutes than many films do in two hours.