The Man Who Planted Trees

Jean Giono wrote this classic tale in 1953. It tells of a shepherd’s singlehanded reforestation of a desolate valley near Digne-les-Bains in Provence by slowly and devotedly planting acorns. Many who first read it thought it a true story. The author described it as an allegory intended to encourage the planting of trees. This enchanting animated film was made in 1987 by Frédéric Back and it is narrated by Christopher Plummer. Giono’s story may perhaps have influenced Joseph Beuys – 7000 Oaks.

Frames of reference

6 thoughts on “The Man Who Planted Trees”

  1. I’m going to be slightly controversial here and say hold on a minute Jean, nice story, but there is no need to plant trees (except street ones)! But that’s only because in general they are easily able to do so themselves…tree seedlings are everywhere and natural regeneration is quicker and probably why the story couldn’t really be true. You might of course want to manage out the ones you don’t want…maybe the Tree of Heaven blighter or a rather fulsome amount of Sycamore. Just saying.

  2. I really enjoyed this film. The last third is a bit sentimental and over simplistic, trees = happiness and healthy people but there is a lovely dreamlike parable feeling to the first half. In fact, although people do plant forests, I’m not sure it matters how true or realistic it is, as I think the authors intention was to promote the value of trees and forests.

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