Survival of the Kindest: Paddy Wivell- The Redemptive Value of Human Relationships
Julian talks to documentary film maker Paddy Wivell about his extraordinary career. Paddy moves us through his documentaries, retelling stories that have stayed with him for decades. He talks about how he still seeks out moments of connection in situations which, in their inherent nature, suggest difference.
Paddy’s canon of work speaks for itself, his forays into primary schools, into prisons, to Ethiopia, are all treated with the same compassionate approach. He humanises his subjects, looking for ways to capture how their differences between them and him can be broken open to reveal the deep similarities which make us human.
Paddy’s success in this endeavour is evidenced by the close confidences and relationships he has had with all of the subjects of his many films. He still tears up when remembering moments of tenderness from two decades ago, and treats each story with dignity and, compassion.
Paddy is very honest about his experience of lockdown and how it enabled him to look closely at how he can enact the universal truth he knows through his work – that we are all connected – in his immediate environment, and what has stopped him from doing it before.
In Paddy’s work, and in the conversation, there is so much to learn about empathy and what difference that can make.
Julian was introduced to Paddy by Jo Abel who can be heard in Episode 5