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Scientist Diana Beresford-Kroeger takes us on a journey to the ancient forests of the northern hemisphere, revealing the profound connection that exists between trees and human life and the vital ways that trees sustain all life on the planet.

Globe and Mail Update

2.5 out of 4 stars

Title
Call of the Forest: The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees
Written by
Jeffrey McKay
Directed by
Jeffrey McKay
Starring
Diana Beresford-Kroeger
Classification
G
Country
USA
Language
English

According to the Irish-Canadian botanist and author Diana Beresford-Kroeger, trees release aerosols that are narcotic, anesthetic and relaxing, which is how I might describe the pleasant enough advocacy documentary in which she stars. Screening for one night at TIFF Bell Lightbox (July 13), Call of the Forest: The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees mixes the not-incompatible voices of Beresford-Kroeger and narrator Gordon Pinsent, who describes trees as the "secret to our existence." The film is laidback, folksy and educational, with a poetic sort of alarmism about disappearing forests. We get an eco-chemistry lesson and lovely photography covering Japan, northern California and Canada's boreal forest. And apparently there's more to Germany's Black Forest than cake. Beresford-Kroeger's earnestness grows on you slowly (like moss); after a while, her saying that forests are "haunted by silence and a certain quality of mercy" no longer seems so annoyingly New Age. Passionate and gently insistent, Call of the Forest carries its important message with grace.

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