Richmond Film Society - Screening of 'The Truffle Hunters' (Italy)

7 Dec 2021
8:00 pm
The Exchange

The film offers a window into the world of truffle hunters in the forests of Piedmont, northern Italy and the subsequent trading and haggling which ensues. The elderly hunters live humble and traditional lives in old country homes and although the main characters are never explicitly introduced, the film’s observational vignettes draw the audience intimately into their daily lives and, to a lesser extent, those of the various traders and middlemen.

This handful of old men and their dogs hunt the rare and expensive white Alba truffle, which takes five years to grow in the wild, can only be harvested for a few months of the year and has resisted all of modern science's efforts at cultivation. As a consequence, demand from wealthy patrons has increased year after year as the supply has decreased owing to climate change and deforestation. Hence, we see buyers taking turns earnestly to sniff prize truffles at auction, with one particularly fine specimen selling for €100,000.

The film is suffused with warmth and humour throughout and, at its very heart, is the love that exists between old men and their dogs. The result is an eccentric, immersive and totally charming documentary. One critic effusively described ‘The Truffle Hunters’ as a film “that lies at the intersection of documentary, Italian neorealism and Renaissance painting”, whilst another remarked that one has to love a movie that credits its dogs before its executive producers.

Presented by Richmond Film Society

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