The Truffle Hunters (12A)

The Truffle Hunters (12A)

Directed by Michael Dweek and Gregory Kershaw
Liverpool Picturehouse
9th – 15th July 2021

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

This is a delightful documentary dedicated in large part to showing the strong friendship and comradeship between men and dogs.

Seven dogs are featured, all having elderly owners, with the canines having name credits in the closing credits.

I found a strong kinship with the film in that I have joyfully co-owned eight dogs in my life.

The documentary, filmed over a three year period, is located in the Piedmont region in north western Italy, which includes many forests.

The Truffle Hunters is centred around the dog’s owners making a living from harvesting the rare Alba Truffle. A Truffle is an edible underground fungus, a plant without leaves or flowers.

It bewildered me why humans find them so precious, particularly when before being sold at extortionate prices for inclusion in meals, people are seen handling them with uncovered hands and sniffing them very close to their nose. I found that disgusting.

What held my attention the most was the filming of the dogs in their pursuit of truffles in forests with their owners, notably the use of tiny cameras mounted on the heads of the dogs to illustrate the thrill of the hunt.

On a sad note directors Michael Dweek and Gregory Kershaw acknowledged that part of Italy is in peril, which is under threat of extinction. Decaying soil and the depletion of woodlands are among a number of factors leading to this situation.

One returning hunter stated that “People are greedy…they know nothing about the forests but they want to plunder it.”

He could have made that comment about the human race and the way they have inflicted drastic destruction of the planet.

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