A thrilling journey through nature, commerce and adventure, The Fruit Hunters is a cinematic odyssey that takes viewers from the dawn of humanity to the cutting of edge of modern agriculture – a film that will change not just the way we look at we eat, but what it means to be human. The movie is an unusual combination of the story of Noris Ledesma, Richard Campbell as they travel around the world in search of exotic fruits. Also mixed in we have historical information about early naturalists in search of exotic species of fruits, beautiful animations of various scenes from early America (Bing cherry scene amazing!!) and China and the current information about fruit research taking place in Honduras with scientist Juan Aguilar. Bill Pullman, a well know Hollywood actor, also makes an appearance as a dedicated naturalist and shows his efforts at sustainability. A wonderful, educational experience. The colors are out of this world.
The one failure of the film is having Bill Pullman as a lead character. He fails in two respects. First he admits to suffering from anosmia, a lack of sense of smell. Smell is a major factor in our ability to taste food, and any time he is seen munching into some lovely fruit, he seems to be faking it. Which brings me to his second failure: faking it is a Hollywood leitmotiv, and all his time on screen seemed to just be a Hollywood wannabe real person, he was painful to watch. Notwithstanding his long screen time, the gorgeous camera work and content and informativeness make this well worth the watch.
There are so many hogwash BS films coming out of Hollywood these days tending to people’s needs for emotional feel-good spiritual uplifting, in the forms of Terrence Malick and pseudo intellectualism, god talk, gazing at swirling milk in a cup of coffee as an allusion to the universe. So much bunk. But this film succeeds where all pseudo-intellectual films fail. In partaking of the multiples beauties of nature and quality of life, in valuing the ecosystems that surround us, that nourish us, that define us. This film is quite beautifully shot, macro cinematography does not make it to the big screen every day and is a real treat. My taste buds and salivary glands were excited during the entire film.
Just how far would you go to taste fruit you’ve never tasted before? Turns out some people will travel extraordinary distances and take extreme measures just to sample a rare form of mango. These folks are the subject of a film by acclaimed Chinese documentarian Yung Chang. The real strength of The Fruit Hunters may be its reminder of one of this planet’s simplest and most fundamental joys. For me the film’s parade of exotic delights triggered great memories forged in faraway markets and little side-streets. The gallery of strange, exciting produce on display in The Fruit Hunters is a reminder that life’s most sensual pleasures need not be the guilty kind.