Take a walk in the woods with botanist, visionary and author, Diana Beresford-Kroeger.
Call of the Forest: The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees will be screened in Chilliwack June 23-29 at Cottonwood 4 Cinemas.
The documentary film follows Beresford-Kroeger as she crosses the globe meeting people who are out to protect critical, sacred forests with a novel approach.
“The idea is that you look after your piece of land, whether it’s a flower pot, an entire garden or a forest,” she said in a phone interview with The Progress. “If we all did that, we’d be looking after our little corner and starting the repairs that need to be done.”
Beresford-Kroeger remembers she was working as a surgeon when she decided to quit work to save the trees.
She has a science background in classic botany and biochemistry, with studies in nuclear chemistry and surgery.
Since woodlands are the “beating heart” of the planet’s ecosystem, her call to action is for protection of native forests worldwide.
Forest bathing for individuals has clear health benefits, she told The Progress, and West Coasters have “fantastic” forests to walk through.
“Go out and walk in a forest for 15 minutes,” she advised. “Walk very slowly, and hold your body straight. Do deep breathing and make sure the air goes down into the lower part of the lungs.”
Some of the airborne compounds from the trees are both cleansing and healing, some with antibiotic properties, she said.
The film shares the folklore and healing power of trees, and offers a “bio plan” to help reforest neighbourhoods and backyards. She calls on everyone to plant one tree a year for the next six years as something that could slow climate change.
Born and raised in Ireland, Beresford-Kroeger has a unique combination of western scientific knowledge and the traditional concepts of the ancient world. In 2016, the Royal Geographic Society named her one of 25 women explorers in Canada.
Filmmaker Jeff McKay said he was captivated:
“My first ‘encounter’ with Diana Beresford-Kroeger was a radio interview I happened upon while running errands one morning. I had never heard anyone speak about trees in that way.
“She shone a light on the environmental, medicinal, and cultural values found in each tree. I knew then that I had to make this film,” he said.
The film is an “effort to make visible the invisible,” transporting the viewer into the incredibly healing environment of a forest as it releases medicinal aerosol compounds.
The doc has received some stellar reviews:
“Call of the Forest is magnificent!” according to scientist and broadcaster David Suzuki. “This is a very important film, and I hope that a copy is put in the hands of every politician in Ottawa.”
“Call of the Forest is a film of rare significance,” said Pulitzer prizer winning author Annie Proulx.
Chilliwack screenings of Call of the Forest: The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees run June 23-29 at Cottonwood 4 Cinemas (45380 Luckakuck Way). For more times, go to cottonwood4cinemas.ca.