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Rita Schlamberger
Zurück zum Urwald - Nationalpark Kalkalpen
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52 min
Rita Schlamberger
Nature and Environment

Kamera Alpin in Gold 2015

Rita Schlamberger counts among the most important filmmakers of the genre, also on an international level. The genuine rhythm and the gorgeous pictures of nature allow the audience to enter into worlds which would never have been expected in close neighbourhood. “Zurück zum Urwald” is, as well, a strong plea for leaving nature to its inherent beauty and variety, created all alone.

Forests are far more complex than previously imagined – as revealed in Rita Schlamberger’s latest film, "Making an Ancient Forest ".

The documentary, filmed in 4K, travels deep into the remote forests of the Kalkalpen National Park in Austria – the largest area of wilderness in the Alps. Abandoned and unmanaged by man for close to a quarter of a century, the forest’s dramatic cycle of growth and decay now rules the landscape. What appears at first to be devastation and destruction is in fact part of the fundamental process of the forest’s regeneration and transformation back to its natural, primeval state.

The film, three years in the making, reveals the highly complex partnerships among plants, insects and animals, as well as the evolutionary creativity and intelligence of trees as they communicate with one another and respond to moment-by-moment stimuli. Their genius is attributed to one of the greatest collaborations in the history of life: a partnership with fungi.

One of the most salient changes in the forest is however, the return of the lynx. After 115 years of absence, the feline’s illusive presence is a testimony to nature’s power of revival and a reassurance that the bold conservation efforts in the National Park are slowly, but surely, contributing to Making an Ancient Forest.