Well now The Botany of Desire has been made into a 2 hour television special to be aired tomorrow night, October 28th on PBS.
I was able to view an advance DVD copy of it, and I recommend that all gardening and food enthusiasts tune in. The premise of both the movie and the book are that we humans "think" we control plants and use them to satisfy our own desires, when actually the plants are controlling us. About the film, Michael Pollan says, "We don't give nearly enough credit to plants. They've been working on us, they've been using us, for their own purposes".
Pollan and producer/director Michael Schwarz takes us on a beautiful voyage around the world to get an up-close and personal look at the history of how four very important plants have crossed paths with mankind. They profile the Apple, the Tulip, Marijuana and the Potato.
Watching this riveting account of plants prompted me to get The Botany of Desire book as well. The movie does a good job of capturing the essence of Pollan's original work, but of course the book goes into even more detail. If you like the movie and haven't read the book, I urge to to pick up a copy.
What the film accomplishes that the book can't is visual in nature. The photography is beautiful and illustrates the growing processes well. It is also nice to see Pollan and other experts talking instead of just reading quotes. The film is broken up into four half hour segments, each concentrating on one of the four plants. It wouldn't surprise me to see it later aired as a mini series in half hour segments. There is no official word about that. As of now the only airing is slated for October 28th at 8:00 p.m. on PBS stations. After that, it is scheduled for DVD and Blu-ray release on November 3rd. Here is what the DVDs will look like:
The DVD is a great addition to your video library, but you have a golden opportunity to see it for free tomorrow night!
Watch the special and then come back here and let me know what you thought of it. Do you agree with me that it is visually beautiful, interesting and informative? Does Pollan make you think differently about your relationship with the plants in your garden? Let me know your thoughts!
Thanks - Marc