Once Upon a Forest
SCR Luc Jacquet, Francis Hallé
CAM/ED Luc Jacquet
PROD CO Bonne Pioche / France 3 Cinéma / Rhône-Alpes Cinéma / Wild-Touch
Here is a glorious journey with renowned French botanist and ecologist Francis Hallé that flies us to the very top of the Amazon’s tropical rainforest canopy and chronicles seven centuries in the life of this "green lung" of the world.
Soon after Luc Jacquet won an Academy Award for March of the Penguins he met Hallé, who had spent 20 years trying to produce a movie about primary forests. Together they travelled to an amazing untouched region in French Guiana (between Suriname and the northern tip of Brazil) to shoot this spectacular film, the first in what is intended as a series of projects about particularly special climate forests still thriving around the world, despite the odds.
Hallé (In Praise of Plants) is famous for his pioneering research utilizing "canopy dirigibles," blimp-born inflatable rafts that can be gently rested in the tops of trees. (He certainly seems to feel quite comfortable straddling bows 200 feet up!) As the scientific journal Frontiers puts it: "The rainforest canopy is still a largely undiscovered layer of the planet. Francis Hallé’s pioneering treetop expeditions are carrying out vital research into what makes the world’s rainforests tic." It is these airborne views, that then plunge to the dense jungle floor—treating us to clean "cross-sections" of teeming plant and animal life—that make this film so marvellous. Utilizing the latest in moving-image technology and drawing on a vast fund of research and knowledge, Jacquet and Hallé lead viewers on a journey into the depths of the tropical jungle and into the very heart of life on earth.