ABOUT THE FOREST, 2021. Documentary 96 min.

Most of us know that the rainforests of the Amazon and Borneo are being destroyed, but fewer are aware that almost all of Sweden's old-growth forests are gone. Today, only a fraction of Sweden's original natural forests remain. The rest are cultivated forest plantations and industrial stands that are plowed, planted and harvested the same way as a farmer's field. In these monoculture industrial tree stands, there is a lack of biodiversity. The trees are cut down as soon as they reach a certain commercially desirable size. Despite the fact that the Swedish forestry sector often presents itself as both considerate and responsible, the felling of the last vestiges of virgin and semi-natural forest ecosystems continues.

Commercial forestry constitutes the greatest threat to plant and wildlife in Sweden. About 53 percent of Sweden's red-listed species rely on the forest for their livelihood.

In Sweden we are frequently told that our forest ecosystem is a "carbon sink" that absorbs about 43 million tons of carbon dioxide per year from the atmosphere—that forests can help counter climate change. But why is no one talking about the fact that commercial forestry and the forest industry emit over 80 million tons of carbon dioxide per year? The emissions from the production of paper alone are double that of traffic, that is, nearly 30 million tons of carbon dioxide per year.

The forest sector is responsible for about 61 percent of Sweden's direct greenhouse gas emissions.

Swedish forestry industry has a saying, "For every tree that is felled, two new are planted." But how sustainable is the Swedish forestry industry really? Do the Swedish Forest Agency's "freedom with responsibility" and "general regard and respect" provide enough protection? In essence, these concepts leave a great deal of freedom with forest owners to make responsible decisions regarding the management of their forests taking into consideration local geology and climate as well as the environment, within the parameters of the Swedish laws and regulations. But is this hands-off approach sufficient to protect and safeguard biodiversity and not adversely impact the climate?

ABOUT THE FOREST is co-distributed by Helion film, Folkets bio and Folkets hus och parker, and will be shown all over Sweden. Due to audience restrictions around Covid19, cinema screenings will take place sporadically and especially later in the spring of 2021. Dates for screenings and news will be continuously presented here.

★★★★ "Lågintensivt och välargumenterat filmiskt debattinlägg om rätten till gamla skogar" – DN

Bio Kino, Lund 5 feb
Bio Zita, Stockholm 19 feb
Bio Tellus, Stockholm 7 mars
Bio Palladium, Växjö 27 mars
Bio Panora, Malmö 22 maj

Directing, cinematography, editing, grading

Associated producer

A co-production with Region Värmland, Film i Dalarna and Filmpool Nord.
With support from Swedish filminstitute, Konstnärsnämnden, Filmpool inom region Jämtland Härjedalen, Sveriges television, Region Gävleborg.
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