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Le Recours aux forêts

filmmaker : Robin Hunzinger
Composer : Siegfried Canto
France, 2019
Production : Ana Films

Anglais, Français


Why, at the age of fifty-six, does Erik Versantvoort decide to quit his job to go and live in a wooden cabin in the depths of the Vosges forest? Some would say that, in a sudden urge for freedom, he wanted to turn his back on his working-class life to live out an adventure that only lasted a year. Others say that he knew he was terminally ill and that he set out for this hermitage hidden in the middle of the Vosges Mountains in order to die there.

Tënk's film review

With exceptional sensitivity, Robin Hunzinger films Erik, suffering from cancer, who’s chosen to live in a cabin perched right in the middle of the mountains. Being attentive to what his body is saying as well as to all that surrounds him, and paying attention to all the multiple relationships running through it is what energises Erik as his life draws to a close. The film portrays magnificently the calm beauty of Erik, serene and content in the midst of nature that fills his every day with thousands of rustles and murmurs, each one unique.
This is not about setting nature against technology but instead puts perception and relationships back in to the heart of existence, accepting death as the consequence of life in its simple finitude.

Brieuc Mével
Network Coordinator for Environmental & Sustainable Development Education

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Robin Hunzinger

After studying History and History of Art in Strasbourg, Robin Hunzinger took a course in Film Studies in Jussieu with Jean Douchet, Jean Rouch and Bernard Cuau. Since then, he has made several documentaries about history, war, the traces of memory and humankind faced with the unthinkable and nature. Hunzinger is a home-filmmaker. He writes, reads, reshoots, scans, reframes, reprocesses, records, edits and reedits, (usually) alone in his well-equipped studio in Vosges, in eastern France. Among his main films are “Où sont nos amoureuses”, “Vers la forêt de nuages” and “Inventaire avant disparition”.

Other films in the collection: Ecology