The Hidden Life of Trees (Das geheime Leben der Bäume)
Directed by Jörg Adolph and Jan Haft
$12 / $8 Speed, Glenview Garden Club, Yew Dell Botanical Gardens, Waterfront Botanical Gardens, and Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest members
“Uses the sensorial capacities of cinema to thrillingly visualize a German forester’s contention that trees are social, sentient beings.”—Devika Girish, New York Times
A walk in the woods will never be the same for viewers of The Hidden Life of Trees, the new film based on the worldwide bestseller that has profoundly changed how we think about forests.
German forester Peter Wohlleben published his book, The Hidden Life of Trees (2015), vividly describing his theory that trees can communicate with each other. In it, he described complex root systems that support trees under stress, much like human support systems that help those in need. He feels that trees are social, with the ability to feel and nurse their young, sense pain, and have distinct personalities.
In this documentary, Wohlleben guides us through his most precious ideas and understanding of how trees work. Presenting ecological, biological, and academic expertise with matter-of-fact candor, the forester inspires us to look more deeply into nature. Traveling through Germany, Poland, Sweden, and Vancouver, Wohlleben discusses, debates, and explains the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he observed in the woodland and the amazing scientific mechanisms behind these wonders of which we are too often blissfully unaware.
A New York Times Critic’s Pick. 2020, Germany, DCP, in English, German, and Korean with English subtitles, 101 minutes. Rated PG.