Kumu Documentary: The Forest Maker
Location: Kumu auditorium
Dir Volker Schlöndorff
Germany 2021, 87 min
In Hausa, German and English, with English subtitles
Introduction by Liina Steinberg, coordinator of Save Estonia’s Forests.
In 1981, the Australian Tony Rinaudo arrives in Niger as a young agronomist to fight the growing spread of deserts and the misery of the population. Radical clearing has left the land desolate and once fertile soils depleted. But Rinaudo’s attempts to stop desertification by planting trees fail and almost all of his seedlings die. Then he notices an enormous root network under the supposedly dead soil, a discovery that results in an unprecedented greening campaign and gives countless people new hope.
The Oscar winner Volker Schlöndorff dedicates his first documentary to the life work of Tony Rinaudo, who has been practising and processing a simple cutting technique for decades, together with farmers in several African countries. The film shows people doing extraordinary things and teaches us the value of community, of self-empowerment and of hope.