Kirsten's journey — healing through nature

2008-05-16 00:00

Kirsten’s Journey will be shown on Sunday night on SABC 3 as part of the Healing through Nature series, screened at 6 pm. It is directed by Cape Town-based Clifford Bestall who has made award-winning films for the BBC as well as two for this series.

“The healing power of nature challenges the idea that we are separate from nature,” Bestall explains. “This concept is based on the work of Harvard professor Edward O. Wilson. Wilson writes about bio-phobias which feature deep and inexplicable fears of nature, such as fear of spiders, snakes and so on. These fears come from our evolutionary development within nature.

“Parts of the brain are hardwired to fear aspects of natural life. But he also argues for biophilia — our need for nature, wide open spaces, contact with animals and plants. In fact, Wilson argues, we are deeply attracted to nature in ways we don’t always understand.

“I believe that nature can heal us precisely because of the bond we have with it.”

Bestall recalls the phrase Kirsten Bond used as she approached the rhino which had gored her: “She said ‘Back on the horse’, and I think that sums up the way some of us have to face our fears.”

Local film maker Don Guy, who did much of the filming of Kirsten’s Journey, explains how he pitched the idea to Eddie Koch, the originator of the Healing through Nature series a number of years ago.

“He was talking about doing a series of films about people who have had life-changing encounters with wild animals at Wildtalk, in Durban,” he says.

“I’d met Kirsten before her accident and knew about her encounter with the rhino. So I pitched her story to him. It was commissioned by SABC 3 and the director, Clifford Bestall, was responsible for the post production work.”

Guy feels strongly that Kirsten’s journey is still continuing. “She lived her dream,” he says, “came close to losing it and now she’s on the road to getting it back.”

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