The whole movie is about one acorn.  "The ecologist makes you feel guilty. We wanted to be happy with nature"

Amazon here – This may be the main conclusion from the movie “Heart of the Oak”, although this sentence is not mentioned in it. Not a single sentence was uttered because directors Laurent Charbonnier and Michel Seydoux decided to present the story of a 200-year-old tree without the narrator’s comment.

We are only observers of life that goes on, under and around the old oak, to the rhythm of nature and music. We note the nature that is not far from the inhabitants of Europe – oaks, mice and squirrels are famous neighbors. But how much do we really know about them, and how often do we see them? In the film, she delights their lives with its dynamism, relationships, and diversity. We asked the filmmakers about the concept and ideas behind the film’s theme.

Patrick Strykowski: Where did you get the idea to create a movie in which the only hero is One Tree, and whose story is told without a narrator?

Laurent Charbonnier: This idea was born several years ago. In 2009, I began the process of finding the right site – and the right tree. In 2017, I met Michelle and told him about the idea, and together we decided it would be a movie without a narrator. The only comment is the music.

Michel Seydoux: What we directed is capturing the biodiversity that exists in a very small space. Show that the entire organized life takes place in a single oak space. Social life, everyday life has its own rules. Even a single tree has an immense richness in life.

One to show seems like a huge – and time-consuming – challenge.

LC We made a decision right away that we wouldn’t be in a hurry. It takes time to create a story that people want to see in movies. The entire project took us five years. We spent a lot of time observing, and only took pictures for 14 months.

Has long work in this place changed your view of nature?

LC We searched all over France for a suitable oak, but in the end chose a tree very close to my house. Thanks to this, I was able to respond quickly. when she was walking StormWhen it was snowing, I could take the camera out of the locker and immediately go to record it

MS I am a typical city dweller and I really appreciate the possibility of being in nature. You can say that this oak became my friend.

Was making the movie a technical challenge for you?

LC The biggest challenge was to implement everything we assumed in the scenario. It was mostly successful, and there were also a few surprises. We put a lot of effort into keeping the rhythm of the movie: dynamic sequences, slow motion. We scored 350 hours materials, the assembly itself took 42 weeks.

MS We have worked with great operators who are specialists in their fields. Laurent spent 150 days beside and on the tree. But technology was at the service of history here. The most important thing was to create a rhythm and a story that would captivate the audience.

In nature films, we often admire inaccessible, exotic landscapes and animals. You are displaying an “ordinary” oak – a tree that many people in France and Poland see outside the window daily.

MS We want to invite our viewers to take a walk around the tree – the nearby tree that could be standing on something in the backyard. And we show that there’s also a whole ecosystem out there, great biodiversity. And that you do not have to look far for this stranger, he is also in our garden. These are miracles that we often overlook or underestimate.

Our film was made in France, but it could also have been made in Poland, Ireland and Italy. We take viewers on a very close journey.

This appreciation of close nature is important now, now when we face the challenges of climate and environmental crisis?

Today, the environment is largely about blaming some harmful activities. Our goal is not to make you feel guilty, but to make you happy. We want to impress nature, because we believe that this is the easiest way to convince people to protect our planet. We wanted to show her a little clip of it we live On a wonderful planet worth protecting.


“Heart of Oak” will be released in cinemas starting November 7. More information about the movie on the website The distributor of the film, together with the Helios Cinema Network and the Las na Forever Foundation, plans to plant a new forest in the spring of 2023 – from each purchased ticket for the movie “Heart of the Oak”, a part of the amount will be allocated to the afforestation campaign.

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