It hasn’t been given over to mass automation or agribusiness. Still, the filmmakers refuse to surrender to a doom-and-gloom story, and instead lead us into the secretive dealings of a group of truffle devotees who navigate these challenges with humor, compassion and optimism. Also in the mix of problems that keep dedicated but aging hunters on their toes are deforestation, countrywide economic struggles and relentless competition. “But they also realized that they have something very special in this world. However, unlike “Honeyland” — which employs a more spur-of-the-moment and fluid mode to trace the life of its central heroine — “The Truffle Hunters” goes for a studious and staccato method. Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox. Dweck and Kershaw’s skill is in never needing to voice these economic considerations directly. And I think they know that that’s really rare in the world right now.”. Like its elderly truffle hunters, you’ll find yourself wrapped up in the experience, and a little sad when it’s all over. “Gregory and I are both curious about communities that are steeped in tradition and communities that haven’t been that affected with the pull of the modern world,” said Dweck, during a Q&A as part of the International Documentary Association’s annual screening series. The directors recalled one of their earlier outings with them, which took them to a muddy cliff while carrying heavy and pricy equipment. The multi-pronged danger that gloomily hangs over the entirety of “The Truffle Hunters” goes like this: climate change dries up the soil, taking away a main lifeline from the truffles that miraculously grows in tree roots. Here, the livelihoods are also challenged, but with bigger scale (and not entirely unrelated) threats. Borat Issues Official Statement Regarding Rudy Giuliani’s “Innocent Sexy Time Encounter”, 13 Great Witch Movies for a Spellbinding Halloween, ‘News of the World’: Tom Hanks Goes Full Western in New Trailer for Paul Greengrass’…, ‘Ghost of Tsushima: Legends’ Multiplayer Raid ‘The Tale of Iyo’ Release Date, Details Revealed, Here’s How to Watch the Marvel Movies in Order (Chronologically and by Release Date). Similar to last year’s Oscar-nominated Honeyland, The Truffle Hunters is a portrait of a dying way of life as climate change and overpopulation of important areas break the balance between gatherer and resource. We don’t learn too much about their individual lives—no one directly addresses the camera or explains how they got into truffle hunting. In one of the film’s sweetest scenes, the avid hunter sits across from Birba around a kitchen table, sharing with her both his food and greatest fears for the future: Who is going to take care of Birba when he’s gone? “They’re very humble people…and I don’t think they think of their lives as being extraordinary, as we immediately did when we came into contact with them,” noted Kershaw. Surrounding them is an intricate chain of business machinery — so vast and far-reaching that it’s easy to forget only a handful of aficionados around Piedmont hold the key to the produce that makes it run. Our editorial content is not influenced by any commissions we receive. It’s an old guy and a dog, the dog sniffs out the truffle, and the man digs up the truffle. In its brief runtime, The Truffle Hunters tackles some weighty concepts with a featherlight touch. Fusing numerous painterly, layered and romantically lit single-frame shots together, the filmmakers create a sequence of mini episodes, while the human characters and their impossibly cute and clever dogs go on about their daily routine amid these scrumptious tableaux. All rights reserved. A scrumptious, melancholic cinematic journey into the storied world of truffle hunters in Northern Italy that serenades the eyes and appeals to sophisticated taste buds. But over the course of many months, they slowly chipped away at the layers of secrecy. Ultimately, what the directors wanted to show was the emotional truth of this world rather than concentrating on the facts. A truffle broker sets up a sale with another man on a street corner as if he is doing a drug deal. Dweck and Kershaw paint a stark contrast between the men digging down in the dirt for a living and the refined clientele that will bid thousands of dollars for a single truffle. In addition to getting to know the human hunters, the filmmakers wanted to bring the audience into the dogs’ perspective. I could have watched that alone for hours on end. While there, the duo learned about a group of mysterious men who scour the woods for the highly coveted white Alba truffle. Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Then there is the passionate forager Carlo — so stubborn that he ignores his wife’s concerned warnings and sneaks out at night to hunt for truffles with a flashlight and his canine partner-in-crime, Titina. Buried underneath the picture (and vaguely hinted at by the filmmakers) is also a sharp divergence in socioeconomic class between the hunters and their increasingly scarce product’s end users, who pay a small fortune to enjoy shaved truffles in fancy restaurants. There’s also the tireless and talkative Sergio, who veers into the woods daily with his two gifted sniffers Pepe and Fiona. But to the credit of the directors, they expand their view to show how this modest living has only become harder as competition increases, market forces exert their influence, and the ones actually hunting for truffles only want modest gains while those who trade in truffles are raking in thousands of euros. ‘Soul’ Aims for Oscar Glory as Disney Shifts to Streaming, but Not All Films Deserve the Same Release, How Closed Theaters, Drive-In Movies, and Netflix Supremacy Are Shaping Oscar Season, ‘Chicago 7’ Vs. the World: How Aaron Sorkin’s Awards-Friendly Epic Jolted a Strange Awards Season, Introducing ‘Deep Dive’: Damon Lindelof and His Team Go Behind the Scenes of ‘Watchmen’, ‘Succession’: How Editing Helps Every Dinner Scene Come to Life — Deep Dive, Becoming Hooded Justice: The ‘Watchmen’ Craft Team Analyzes the Emotional, Pivotal Scene – Deep Dive, 40 Must-See New Movies to See This Fall Season, The Best Movies Eligible for the 2021 Oscars Right Now, Jessie Buckley Won’t Explain ‘Ending Things,’ but She Will Reveal What Terrified Her Most. 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After they finished editing their previous feature “The Last Race,” directors Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw decided to take separate trips with their families to decompress. “We had to become friends with them and gain their trust. But over the course of many months, they slowly chipped away at the layers of secrecy. The footage was revelatory not only because it showed how the truffles are found, but because it provided insight into the relationship between the men and their companions. The maxim of “living to work or working to live” makes for a brilliant dichotomy in The Truffle Hunters. Here’s a challenge: Watch the opening moments of “The Truffle Hunters” and try not to fall hard for the immediate flavors of joy it spreads. After all, Dweck and Kershaw’s intimate portrait also supplies an adoring lens into the process and long-standing tradition of gathering one of nature’s greatest culinary gifts. He loves going out with his dog and digging in the dirt. It follows a group of aging men hunting in the woods, for a prized quarry, the Alba truffle. The Truffle Hunters, by directors Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw, has been shown at film festivals this autumn across the continent, from San Sebastian to Zurich. The cinematography is gorgeous and controlled, showing the beauty of the land and these Italian homes to craft a fairly picturesque life at its end. The Truffle Hunters is a 2020 internationally co-produced documentary film directed and produced by Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw. The challenge is in their rarity and the work to gather them, which falls on the men who have been doing this job for decades. For that to happen, they aimed to create parallels between the two different realms that are at play in the story: the truffle hunters and the consumer, with the truffle dealers that connect them. It was also thanks to a furry friend that Luca Guadagnino came on board as a producer. One old man knows he could get injured truffle hunting at night, but he loves to do it. Copyright © 2020 Penske Business Media, LLC. “The truffle hunters would have conversations with their dogs while they’re alone in the middle of the woods in complete darkness.