The Hidden Life of Trees first hit bookstores in 2015. While I picked up and flipped through Peter Wohlleben‘s book back then, I never felt the urge to dive into it further. After watching all 85 minutes of this documentary, I realize that was my mistake. It’s one thing to read something like this, but it’s another to have a well-educated naturalist take you through his experience. Hell, it was so enthralling that it felt like 20 minutes.
The natural world is perfect fodder for modern documentaries. This aides The Hidden Life of Trees by making casual viewers not even care that they are listening to an ecological science lecture. When was the last time you went outside and stares at leaves and root systems? Did you even know why you should care? Things like that are what make The Hidden Life of Trees into such a treat.
People watch things like this for the footage of nature. I just hope that Wohlleben’s message is getting through to the passive viewers. The Hidden Life of Trees is about more than a naturalist profile. This documentary is about getting all audiences to slow down and process what they are seeing and how they experience the natural world.
The Hidden Life of Trees arrives on DVD from Capelight with no special features. If you’re concerned about A/V Quality, I’d recommend picking up the Blu-ray version. The transfer and audio is good enough here for standard definition, but this is 2021. Do what you will with that.