The oak, the tree and the way

CRITICAL – An ode to biodiversity, the film by Michel Seydoux and Laurent Charbonnier is a superb immersive show in the heart of nature and throughout the seasons.

Meeting in unknown land. But you don’t need to take a plane to survey its perimeter up and down: the place explored by Michel Seydoux and Laurent Charbonnier is… a 210-year-old oak tree. Which weighs nine tons and is 17 meters high

The visit begins. The decor, populated by squirrels, insects or majestic birds, is reminiscent of a hotel. From its roots to its summit, the representatives of each species go about their business. Two balanins mate and beetles show their ability to drill acorns.

The close-ups are linked to its customers like no other, fed and housed within it. Suddenly thunder rang out. Let’s fight! A movement is created, causing frantic races and skipping on all floors. The underground galleries are full of people. A lull announces the return to ordinary life.

The spectator follows the little people of the tree over four seasons, their joys and their great miseries, telling “everything that revolves around the glans”explains Michel Seydoux, referring in passing to the frantic chase between a bird of prey and a sparrow that required fifteen days of work for 1 min 20 of film.

Producer and co-director, he collaborated with a figure in wildlife cinema, Laurent Charbonnier, who worked with Nicolas Vanier (The Last Trapper, Wolf, Belle and Sebastian) or Jacques Perrin (The Migrant People). Laurent Charbonnier who spent a hundred days on the lookout in this tree, near his home in Sologne.
The film, constructed as an ode to biodiversity and shot within a year and a half, exudes superb poetry. No voiceover disturbs the daily life of the animals. “During confinement, there were no more planes, no more mowers or loggers, which made our job easier”explains Michel Seydoux, whose film, which also recalls Microcosmos: the grass people (1996), is accompanied by explanatory podcasts and educational kits.

“We wanted to make a tool of wonder”he continues, to raise public awareness “without giving lessons”, and in particular children, to the prowess of nature and to questions of biodiversity. The result is a real immersive show, with unsuspected secrets, which will seduce the whole family by arousing their wonder.

Find out here The Oak and the company of trees »a Collective Creation podcast in five episodes which, under the scientific patronage of the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, extends the film by Michel Seydoux and Laurent Charbonnier with a scientific perspective and a great deal of sensitivity.


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