Monday 21, January 2019 / 6 pm
Berlin / Germany
The Time of Forest
|Le temps des forêts
A tree is a tree is a forest. And a forest is nature. A walk in the
woods is the epitome of recreation and contemplation for most people.
But in his film Le Temps des Forêts, François-Xavier Drouet tells a
different forest story. One of tree deserts, monoculture, pesticides
and other poisons, production, profitability, and social injustice.
The director takes us on a trip to central France, the west coast,
Burgundy and the Vosges mountains. He starts out on the Millevaches
high plateau in Limousin. This plateau is a 70% afforested region.
However, this forest is a green desert - a mere cultivation area for
the wood industry. Douglas firs rise in disciplined rows hectare after
2018 | 1:43:00
Monoculture instead of biodiversity prevails: the forest is only there
to be harvested. Giant machines that look like metal monsters fell the
fir trees every few minutes, hectares of surfaces are cleared, rivers
and streams devastated and poisoned. The destroyed wasteland finally
receives the next generation of Douglas firs. Pesticides will help
them grow faster in the soil, which is worn out by the monoculture. In
his film, François-Xavier Drouet allows many people to express their
views, people who work in and with the forest. People who benefit from
the forest. But also people who prefer to cultivate their forests in a
sustainable way. A forester describes the constantly worsening working
conditions that are tightened by the “Office national des forêts”
(ONF) in favour of profit and profitability. He talks about the
countless suicides of forestry workers who cracked because of inhuman
Finally, the film accompanies many forestry workers to a demonstration
in front of the ONF headquarters. This is when it becomes clear that
the French forest and wood business has taken on proportions that go
far beyond anything imaginable. Images of huge deforested areas,
nightmarishly huge machines felling tree trunks like matchsticks and
building them up into huge piles, images of a sawmill factory that
processes as much wood in a day as a small family sawmill in a year...
These pictures are not from faraway Canada or China, they are from our
neighbouring country, France. This film is a discovery because it
tells a story about the forest we have not yet heard and seen.
January 18 - 21, 2019
An international jury overview the sections of short films coming from all over the world. We prefer documentaries which succeed in representing the complexity of reality and discover in a new way its sensible and perturbing aspects on the same time accentuating the ambivalent and enigmatic status of reality in avoiding sterotypes and simplifing conclusions.