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Post Screening Q&A with DAVID FOSTER, Ph.D. of Harvard Forest

From French co-directors,Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud, the Oscar®-nominated creators of Winged Migration and Oceans, comesA poetic chronicle of Europe over the past 15,000 years, filmed through the eyes of animals. A history of Europe is told through the paws, claws, and hooves of the animals that inhabit the continent.  Millennia-spanning SEASONS does for beasts of the land what the duo’s “Winged Migration” and “Oceans” did for those of the air and sea…

jacques-cluzaud-et-jacques-perrin-photo-jean-max-blachon-1454708084Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud are dominant forces in French documentary cinema. Their nature films Winged Migration (2001) and Oceans (2009) have captivated audiences of all ages from around the world and have won them a César Award and an Academy Award® nomination.

SEASONS is a natural symphony on the mysteries of the forests, plains and mountains.  Snowy fields surround a herd of bison, huddled together for warmth, as the last flurries of winter shroud their heavy coats in a location far from civilization. The icicles are melting. A flock of birds gracefully returning to their homelands brings us to a heightened realization that a breath of new air has arrived for animals of all shapes and sizes across the vast continent of Europe: spring. Bringing us the history of Europe’s varied natural landscapes from the perspectives of the animals that inhabit them, veteran nature-documentarian duo Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud (Winged Migration) bring us their latest film, Seasons. Using the natural pattern of seasonal changes to set the scene and appearances by human intruders to gauge the time period, magnificent shots of Europe are only the background to the main stars of the film and their stories of survival in a rapidly changing habitat. Though the role human actors play in this film is minimal, we are asked about the implications of our individual impact on animals and the environment in our backyards and across the world. Seasons seeks to put humans into the paws, claws, and hooves of animals and their stories of adjusting to the pursuits of mankind and the ever-present cycle of the seasons.

Parental Warning (there is one scene where you will see wolves eating the meat of an animal they killed, there is very little blood depicted very tastefully. Children 8 or younger may want to avert their eyes at a few scenes but no so many as to keep them from attending the film)

About DAVID R. FOSTER, Dir. of Harvard Forest, Harvard University:


David Foster is an ecologist and author of Thoreau’s Country-Journey Through a Transformed Landscape Through Time (2000; both Harvard University Press), Forests in Time – The Environmental Consequences of 1000 years of Change in New England (2004; Yale University Press): and Wildlands and Woodlands; A Vision for the New England Landscape (2010; Harvard University). He has been a faculty member in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard since 1983 and Director of the Harvard Forest, the University’s 3750-acre ecological laboratory and classroom in central Massachusetts since 1990. David is the Principal Investigator for the Harvard Forest Long Term Ecological Research program, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and involving more than 100 scientists and students investigating the dynamics of New England landscape as a consequence of climate change, human activity, and natural disturbance. His interests focus on understanding the changes in forest ecosystems that result from human and natural disturbance and applying these results to the conservation and management of natural and cultural landscapes.


“An old-fashioned, beautifully crafted nature documentary for family audiences: they reinforce the idea that man versus nature is an unnecessary dichotomy, as we’re part of what we’re destroying.”  Screendaily