The first thing that the movie makes abundantly clear is that it's all about humans first, and individuals first. Yes, sure, they're a tribe and tribal structures don't always foster individualism, but as we see later in the movie they don't have to hinder it either (you can be a healthy balance of tribal and open-minded after all). In this movie, there's nothing much to say of human civilization- there's a small tribal settlement with huts, some stacked stone sign posts for buffalo hunting season, and other rudimentary stuff like that. The greatest investment, the most care, time and general stuff is dedicated to the individual. From every person's clothes, to the weapons they make, to the equipment they carry, it's all about grooming each individual for the tasks of surviving and thriving. This demonstrates one of the oldest truths of humanity- don't invest in things, invest in people. We forget this all the time. When you buy a pre-construction condo, you forget you're investing in people behind the company and their ability to get things done, well and on time. When you buy a cup of coffee, you forget you are spending it on the people and the way that make that coffee happen, from corporate to a local franchise. Therefore, as long as we keep looking at the humans behind things we spend money on and invest in, we tend to do quite well in life! :)
The second major truth is that in Europe, 20,000 years ago, so much of the environment is designed and destined to kill human beings, sometimes as an inevitability of nature, other times as kill to eat and survive. Therefore, competitiveness, aggressiveness, and the drive to survive a fight in order to live on are all reasons why we exist today, and number in the billions. True, life gives most of us less lethal challenges now than it used to, but the qualities that helped us survive and thrive should not be shunned and thrown away regardless of the fact they can get ugly; they should be honed and refined. Oh, and to all those people who say it's all good, we should save everything and not defeat threats from the natural world, I only have one thing to say- the only constant out there is change! :)
Third, I found the idea of tribal leadership fascinating. You have a tribal leader who's basically a king, but then the tribe is so small that every able bodied man who hunts with the king is his close friend and ally; everyone else falls in line too. The fundamental human truth is that as a leader you keep things amicable with your subjects only in smaller groups. Once you get to lead millions, say as a president in a democratic country, you have to lead and serve both those who love you and those who hate your guts, oh as well as those who couldn't care less one way or the other. So, you need to be strong- even if you get heckled, slandered, or made fun of. Them is the apples you godda like ;)
Fourth, as a human being, you need to rely on your training, understand traditional approaches to different things, show some respect to it all, but also take risks in unfamiliar waters. When the protagonist of the movie faced off against a pack of wolves and wounded one, his open-minded risk taking nature made him try to befriend a wolf and then teach her obedience, thereby becoming her alpha (even though he called her Alpha, he was clearly filling that role). Without this attitude to respect the mold but be willing to break out of it, we never would have experimented with what's edible around us, what you can cultivate, what animals you can domesticate, and so on. Keeping it safe while being open to exploring new territories is basically the most important thing a society can do, no matter the size.
So there we have it, dearest readers- some worthwhile takeaways from an interesting new movie. Let me know what you think, and hope you find this a good and worthwhile read :)