I saw this film at the recent New Zealand International Film Festival. The festival has grown and developed over the years and has become quite a magical event. I thoroughly recommend it if you are in Auckland.
Ancient Woods is a Lithuanian production and it’s a magical foray into the flora and fauna living in a Baltic forest. This is a slow-burn nature documentary, more of a meditation on the experience of watching animals with wonder and fascination, exquisitely close up.
The viewer feels herself peering through branches and watching turkeys doing a mating dance, owls prance around, European Bison mosey through the forest on heavy haunches and wolves cavort together in the most natural and undisturbed way. It’s a simple pleasure and a joy to be a privileged voyeur here.
Ancient Woods is different from any other nature documentary I’ve seen, in that there’s no narration, no human artifice here, only the visual feast devoid and naked for the viewer to enjoy. There is no background music or omniscient British voices – just the sounds of the forest in all their hypnotic and slow-moving cadences. I highly recommend this film for nature lovers and people who are particularly enamoured of European animals in all their animated splendour.