Alan Ereira

Alan Ereira

Alan Ereira
Occupation Film director, film producer, author, historian
Years active 1965–present
Organization Sunstone Films
Notable work Armada, The Heart of the World: Elder Brother's Warning, Crusades, Terry Jones' Medieval Lives, Kings and Queens of England Terry Jones' Barbarians, Aluna

Alan Ereira is an award-winning British author, historian and documentary filmmaker. He is an Honorary Research Fellow of the University of Wales at Lampeter.


Ereira worked at the BBC on television and radio since 1965 contributing documentaries to the Timewatch strand amongst others.

He has been awarded the Japan Prize for his 1978 documentary on the Battle of the Somme, and the Royal Television Society Best Documentary Series award for his 1988 documentary on the Armada.

Ereira directed a documentary called The Heart of the World: Elder Brother's Warning (1990) for the British Broadcasting Corporation. In this film he documented his unique visits to the Kogi people of Colombia, an indigenous ('Indian') ethnic group which survived attempts by the Spanish conquerors to destroy them by retreating high up into the mountainous area of the Sierra Nevada, where they now live. These meetings were only allowed by the Kogi Mamos who normally restrict any direct interaction with the modern world. In Ereira's case, the Mamos made an exception as they saw him as the filmmaker they wanted to convey their message to the world.

Ereira regards the Kogi as unique amongst indigenous peoples in the Americas in that they have managed to retain their traditional culture almost entirely intact. Since the 1980s, the Kogi have warned, on the basis of their observation of ecological changes in the Sierra Nevada, that the world is facing an ecological catastrophe. They asked Ereira to make his films about them to warn the rest of the world (and particularly the West) that it needs to radically change its way of living, and its exploitative attitude to the natural world, if it is to avert this catastrophe. Ereira later wrote about the filming of the documentary in his book The Heart of the World (1990). This book has been republished and retitled as The Elder Brothers (1992) and The Elder Brothers' Warning (2009).

Aluna is the sequel documentary to The Heart of the World: Elder Brother's Warning and was made by an indigenous film crew and the Kogi Mamos in collaboration with Ereira. This is to be the final warning to the world by the Kogi Mamos, as it is apparent to them that the world did not heed their original warning in the first documentary. The indigenous film crew was necessary as a modern film crew couldn't see "so that what the modern film crew cannot see may appear to the camera".

Ereira collaborated with Terry Jones on the documentary series Crusades (1995), Terry Jones' Medieval Lives (2004) and Terry Jones' Barbarians (2006), with whom he also co-authored the respective companion books.

In 2004 he also presented, wrote and produced a 6-part documentary series on the kings and queens of England for UKTV History.



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