Thursday, 20 June 2013

L’Appel de la Forêt…

A visual wonder with an important message!  

[Reviewed by Nancy Snipper] 

Director Pascal Sutra-Fourcade takes us on a journey into the astonishing forests of Madagascar, Cameroon, Eretria, Brazil and Australia. The great interviewer and lover of nature, Yann Arthus Bertrand meets up  with dedicated biologists, forest engineers and conservationists who have given up their lives to stop deforestation and innovate ways to make villages independent.  We see how lemurs are responsible for spreading seeds in the jungle to promote growth. We learn that Cameroon is involved with the illegal exporting of wood to France and China. We behold the amazing calcified rock forests whose sharp pinnacles reach high into the sky of Madagascar. These lunar-like foundations are actually calcified fossils that date back millions of years. 
But this documentary is a story about heroic people too. We meet Père Pedro who singlehandedly built a city for the poor in Madagascar, and most of the population lives in deprivation. Children follow him as if he were a piped piper. We meet a wonderful man who goes to schools and plays his guitar as he sings lyrics about nature and its value. The song is funny; its refrain is: ants are as important as humans. In Brazil, one brave Portuguese anthropologist is in charge of protecting over 50 indigenous aboriginal tribes who have never seen the White Man. He goes into the forest and sets up camp near the pygmies. They come to him. The scene that follows is hilarious as we see how they act towards him and his team.  In another scene we meet a rare Australian bird whose tail fans out over its head. It can produce over 100 sounds that imitate other birds. Two of the sounds resemble the closing clicking sound of a camera shutter and a police siren. Then we hear another sound – that of a bulldozer coming right into their habitat.
Trees are precious, and for everyone cut down, our own lives are threatened. It’s a fine balancing act; many poor villagers are being taught to preserve the forest, yet they need the wood for survival. I was most impressed by the Japanese American who began making mangrove forests in the water with the people of Eretria and planting tiny trees for the people in Eretria. It’s all about food and community.
Over and over again, we see villagers literally taking destiny into their own hands, shaping it in order to preserve their beloved and most magnificent forests that bless the world in a million ways. They are beautiful and we need them to survive – as this film so splendidly proves!  I refer you to the poetry section of this blog; look for my poem called, “Gatineau Trees”. Wherever they grow, trees are miraculous.  

(This film was viewed, compliments of Le SuperClub Videotron, 5000, rue Wellington, in Verdun,  Quebec.)  
(Ce film a été visionné, avec les compliments de Le SuperClub Videotron, 5000, rue Wellington, à Verdun, Québec.)