Opening 3 Mar 2022
“Every two seconds, illegal loggers destroy an area of forest the size of a soccer field worldwide.” I can actually imagine this since I already had watched Paradise War: The Story of Bruno Manser (2019) about the Swiss environmentalist trying to make the world aware of the logging that was happening in Borneo in the 1970s. Similarly, director Christoph Kühn’s film Bruno Manser – Laki Pena (2007) was the first film to highlight the first Swiss environmentalist activist who demonstrated with publicity stunts to bring awareness to the world the logging destruction in Borneo. Living with the Penan tribe in Sarawak, Malaysia, Manser organized several blockades against timber companies which may have led to his disappearance. Unfortunately, these films had little impact on the general public and to no avail, the forests have been depleted and many of the endangered animals are at the brink of being eliminated or are extinct. Since then, the wood mafia has moved onto other forests worldwide including in the Amazon and now even in Europe and have become highly efficient on how they operate. The situation has worsened since the start of the pandemic where those trying to stop it were busy with other problems. It is also shocking to note that during the pandemic, there was an increase in renovations and therefore an increase in demand of this precious raw material.
Wood shows how unscrupulous the wood mafia are as we watch agents working in secret collecting information on their operations. Although I think this film is extremely important and much of what they have to say is shocking, the film itself is done in a way that it is hard to follow, and it doesn’t really capture the attention of the viewer. This worries me because global warming is moving at a fast pace, and we need to wake up and stop what’s going on. (Shelly Schoeneshoefer)