Matsutake Hunters

Short Documentary, in post-production

in partnership with TELUS, produced by Last Songbird Productions & What Escapes Production

 

The forest holds many mysteries. We follow an unlikely group of foragers as they hunt for the elusive and highly prized Japanese Matsutake mushroom, also known as the Pine Mushroom, in Northern British Columbia.

An unlikely community gather to forage for a highly prized wild mushroom that thrives in second-growth forests. While clear-cuts are often seen as dead landscapes, surprisingly, it is on such formerly human-disturbed territory that the rare and prized Matsutake mushroom flourishes. Because of their high value in Japan, an entirely new human ecosystem, and economy, has emerged, as have new ways of profiting off human damaged landscapes.

This little fungus can teach us a great deal about what it means to co-exist on a damaged planet. The Matsutake, called the Pine Mushroom in BC, lives in a symbiotic relationship with its ‘host’ tree, and once it grows, an unlikely cast of characters converge around it: migrant foragers, First Nations, and a range of outsiders. Colliding, intersecting worlds, both human and nonhuman, converge around this little fungus.