'Vietnam Tarzan’ doco to be released soon

Short video clips detailing the life of “Vietnam’s Tarzan”, a man who grew up in the jungle after his father fled American bombs, will soon be released on the travel website Docastaway.

The website’s founder, Spaniard Alvaro Cerezo, told Viet Nam News that each clip will last for two to three minutes and cover an aspect of the life of Ho Van Lang, who is now 44, and his father, Ho Van Thanh, now 85.

“There will be around 12 short clips,” Cerezo said. “If the response from the audience is good, then we will make a longer one.”

In 1972, Ho Van Thanh, an army veteran, fled to the jungle with his baby when his house was bombed by Americans. During this bombing, he lost his mother and two of his children.

Just three years ago, the old man and his son were discovered in the jungle in the central province of Quang Ngai and brought back to civilisation after having lived there for 41 years.

“Last November, while I was in Vietnam for work reasons, I was lucky enough to spend a few days with this ‘jungle boy’ who is now living in a village, adapting to civilisation,” Cerezo wrote on the website.

Lang was enthusiastic about the idea of going back, for the first time, to the place in the jungle where he grew up.

They then spent five days in the jungle surviving on nature’s bounty, just as Lang had done in his youth. They were accompanied by Lang’s brother, Ho Van Tri, and Cerezo’s translator.

“At the beginning, my intention was to learn new survival techniques from him, but without realising, I unveiled one of the most endearing people I have ever met,” Cerezo wrote. “For this and other reasons, the ‘survival’ took a backseat and I decided to relax and enjoy being with him in his environment.”

“His primitive form of life doesn’t just take us directly to the Neolithic Age but, due to the isolation he suffered from birth, it also leads us to better understand the true essence of ‘man’,” he wrote.

The documentary trailer racked up hundreds of thousands of views over the past few weeks, which is accompanied by a descriptive article on the wild life, characteristics and personality of Lang, who has gradually gotten used to civilised society.

“At 42 years old, Lang never knew the existence of the female sex, as his father never told him. More surprising still is that today, now being able to distinguish between men and women, he still doesn’t know the essential difference between them,” Cerezo shared on his website.

“When I realised this, I asked myself if he had found out on his own, watching the animals mating for example. However, it wasn’t possible because, along with other reasons, if one is not aware of also being an animal then it is impossible to use the necessary rule of three. Lang told me that, opposite to what happens in civilisation, the jungle animals stayed well away from him.”

Lang now lives with his family in a recently built house, which was provided by local authorities because his father is considered a disabled war veteran.

Lang works every day on the farm with his brother, who said that the skills his brother learned in the jungle are of great help in the countryside. Lang’s father stays at home because his hearing and mental capacities have deteriorated.

“Lang seems happy with his new life and enjoys the love he receives from Tri and his neighbours,” Cerezo wrote.

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