The Time of Forest

Synopsis

The French forest is in an industrialisation phase without precedent. THE TIME OF FOREST is a journey into industrial sylviculture and its alternatives. The choices we make today will create tomorrow's landscapes.

Director's statement

I arrived in the Millevaches Plateau in the Limousin Region of France ten years ago, in a 70% wooded area. Back then, I knew nothing of forests. These huge resinous forests reminded me of Canada and seemed to be the most natural thing in the world. Very quickly, I understood that these monocultures were not in the least spontaneous and that the biodiversity beneath these conifers was indeed extremely poor. By the wayside, I discovered dozens of hectares of landscapes cut to the ground and ransacked, ground and rivers devastated by machines… A few weeks later, small pine trees were planted once again on those fields of ruin, and force-fed on fertilisers and pesticides. In making this film, I wanted to understand this system no-one seemed to even question, as if it were the only possible model to produce wood. As one of the persons featured in the film says, we tend to think that the main threat to forests is deforestation. The problem in France is actually "poor-forestation". What kind of forest do we want to see tomorrow: A field of artificial trees or a thriving natural space? That's the essential question THE TIME OF FOREST asks us.

Why we selected this film

An alarming analysis of the state of affairs on a subject which is seldom talked about: the systematic destruction of the national forest heritage and the ensuing deliberate loss of biodiversity. At a time when global warming is accelerating, everything should be done to preserve forests and nurture healthy top-soils, which capture huge amounts of CO2. However, in France, 84% of forests only contain one or 2 species of trees, and the French government has decided to increase forest cutting by 30% these last years, thus reducing the amount of CO2 capture and increasing the emissions of the latter. A decision which makes no sense, goes against the general interest and threatens future generations. It is high time that this subject be brought to light in order to fight this absurd policy. This film acts as a whistleblower for all to hear about this scandal.