For love of Amazon

Film>> RAINFORESTS • Peru/France

Published: Monday 30 November -0001

A scene from Il Etait une ForetAt an age when pensioners prefer an unflustered life of retirment, Francis Hallé is likely to be found perched atop a tree. The 75-year-old French botany professor has just completed his first film. In it he can be seen standing, without a safety rope, on the branch of a moabi tree, 70 metres above the forest floor in the Peruvian Amazon.

During his lifetime, Hallé has watched helplessly as tropical forests have been logged, razed and ploughed. To bring the world’s attention to the plight of these forests, he spent 25 years seeking a filmmaker who could make a film in which trees are the stars. His search ended when he met Luc Jacquet, the Oscar-winning director of March of the penguins. The result of the collaboration is Il Etait une Forêt. Hallé hopes the film can draw the kind of attention to forests that Jacques Cousteau’s The Silent World did for marine life.

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