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The Beach follows one man's personal journey of transformation, to heal and change his life while he still can.
Over six, half-hour episodes, the series goes on a deeply personal and intimate journey with award winning, Indigenous film maker Warwick Thornton. It explores the fragility of the human mind, body and spirit in modern times. A life of excess, neglect and self-abuse is transformed in the most profound way, through the ancient healing power of nature.
The Beach is set in the remote, harsh and yet stunning, location of Jilirr, on the Dampier Peninsula, on the north-west coast of Western Australia. A piece of paradise which remains largely unseen by most Australians and the rest of the world.
The experience isn't easy, it's not predictable. It doesn't always go to plan. But it is life changing.
There are moments of hopelessness, helplessness, fear and failure and joy and triumph. Warwick is forced to confront areas in his life he'd rather not think about – father, friend and film maker. Areas which may seem successful to the outsider. Audiences are given a rare opportunity to be invited inside, to see the real man. A man plagued by self-doubt and self-loathing, yet one who is committed to changing his life and reconnecting with Country.
He needs to get physically, mentally and emotionally strong. He needs to face his demons.
Along the way, he has to develop his instincts and skills to hunt and gather food to survive and thrive in this isolated, brutal part of paradise. Over the six episodes we discover how much he relies on food not only for his body, but also for his spirit... we watch as he cooks, silently and without instruction to the audience.
Warwick needs to build a new life, a life that can sustain him in the 'real' world, a life that embraces his passion for food, and which nourishes the mind, body and soul. Warwick's incredibly personal journey reminds us how important it is to reconnect with nature to heal and transform our own lives, before it's too late.
Directed by Warwick Thornton and filmed by his son Dylan River, with a small key crew including producer Michelle Parker, The Beach is observational and unobtrusive, yet visually stunning and cinematic. It is remarkable and rare television.
ATOM has also produced a study guide for The Beach. This study guide is available for download here.