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Treeline: A Story Written in Rings (2018)

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Throughout history, as entire civilizations have withered and mankind has continued to move at a breathless pace, the trees have remained. For some, these trees harbor the secrets to longevity. For others, they provide clear evidence of our journey across lifetimes and the path that awaits us in centuries to come. The elusive wonder of trees is on full display in the meditative documentary titled Treeline: A Story Written in Rings.

Sumptuously photographed, the film travels from the bristlecone forests of Nevada to the cedars of British Columbia to the majestic birch woods of Japan. Along the way, we're introduced to several subjects whose lives are inseparably intertwined with the trees.

A snow surfer and tree skier testify to the majesty of navigating between imposing mountain trees. They find solitude and serenity in these snowcapped environments, and they sense a silent communication between themselves and the ocean of living trees surrounding them.

Many of the trees profiled in the film have existed for thousands of years, and are expected to survive for thousands more. A paleoecologist in Nevada explains how the rings of a bristlecone pine - the longest lived tree species on the planet - can convey thousands of years of climate change history. From these rings, scientists can also determine the extreme conditions under which the trees might perish in the future.

In another segment, a Japanese tree surgeon speaks of her enduring spiritual connection to the trees. She observes them like a doctor to a patient, and feels a sacred duty to nurture their needs so they live for future generations.

A forest ecologist wanders through thousands of red cedars in British Columbia - a "treasure trove of biodiversity" - and speaks of their human-like intelligence. They have attributes that resemble neurotransmitters, and they can learn and evolve much like people. She advocates for greater interest in the many tree species that populate the planet. Through the study of trees, we can learn more about ourselves.

It seems that human kind is more removed and apathetic to the natural world than ever before. Treeline: A Story Written in Rings suggests that the remedy to this dilemma can only be found when we return to our roots.

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Films For Action is a community-powered, digital library for people who want to change the world.

 

Our mission is to provide citizens with the knowledge and perspectives essential to creating a more beautiful, just, sustainable, and democratic society.

Films For Action was founded in 2006 by a few friends in Lawrence, Kansas, after realizing how essential a healthy media is to a healthy democracy.

Although we started out hosting community film screenings in the beginning and did so for many years, our digital library eventually became our primary focus. 

Today, with the help of our members (who can add content directly to our site), we've curated over 5,000 of the best documentaries, short films, and videos that can be watched for free online plus several dozen pay-per-view documentaries, sorted into 34 subjects related to changing the world.

And, since there's still so much to learn about that isn't featured in a film, we've also curated 4,000 articles.

To dive in, click the Explore button to sort content by most viewedtop-rated, or newest first, as well as filter content by languagecountry, content type, and 34 topics such as foodsustainabilityeconomicssolutions or big ideas.

 

“Independent media is dangerous because it allows people to speak for themselves. And when you hear someone speaking from their own experience - whether it's a Palestinian child or an Israeli grandmother or an uncle in Afghanistan or a refugee in the Calais refugee camp - it changes you. It breaks the sound barrier. It challenges the stereotypes and the caricatures that fuel the hate groups. You may not agree with what you hear - I mean, how often do we even agree with our family members? - but you begin to understand where they're coming from. That understanding is the beginning of peace. I really do think that the media can be the greatest force for peace on Earth. Instead, all too often, it is wielded as a weapon of war. We have to take the media back.” - Amy Goodman, Place to B at COP21