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Laura Blum

Laura is a festival correspondent covering films and the festival circuit for She also publishes on Thalo



“Seasons” Filmmaker Jacques Perrin Goes Wild

There’s a moment in Seasons when a bear covers its eyes in distress as two ursine cousins go at one another with a vengeance. It’s one of many heart tugging scenes in Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud’s new wildlife drama that captures empathy and tenderness, anger and aggression and a range of relatable behaviors in between. We can’t help but see a bit of ourselves in the secret lives of non-pets such as antelopes, horses, wolves and lynxes, but also smaller critters from hedgehogs to owls. So it’s all the more poignant that Homo sapiens looms as the villain from their perspective.

Spanning the 12,000 years since the end of the last ice age—which ushered in the flourishing of European forests and attendant seasons--the film takes us through the hunting-gathering, farming, industry and warfare that have since rattled the animal realm. What’s on the horizon, now that the "sorcerer's apprentice, man has become a geological force that changes nature and the seasons"? Nothing good, suggests this cautionary eco-tale. Come to think of it, maybe that distraught bear was averting his gaze from the sweep of human civilization that stands to doom the entire menagerie. 

Seasons packs a dozen millennia into one epic sequence of winter, spring, summer and fall. Bringing it off took its share of seasons. The Academy Award-nominated French duo and their team spent two years shooting across five European countries to clinch the landed portion of the trilogy they’d started in the sky (Winged Migration) and undersea (Oceans). Perrin spoke with me from his Galatée Films office in Paris:

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