'The Ancient Forests'

Last edited 2 April 2002 at 8:00am
The save or delete campaign launches outside DEFRA

The save or delete campaign launches outside DEFRA

The Ancient Forests'- a short film commissioned by Greenpeace, directed by Julien Temple and narrated by Ewan McGregor and Sir David Attenborough - is to appear at selected cinemas, from 12th April. The film will then be on general release accompanying 'About a Boy'.

The film features a soundtrack by Angelo Badalamenti (from David Lynch's Twin Peaks) and the neo-classical group Dead Can Dance. The executive Producer is Eski Thomas.

'The Ancient Forests' film takes its cue from Klaus Toepfer, head of the United Nations Environment Programme, who has warned governments that, "the clock is standing at one minute to midnight for the great apes. Some experts estimate that in as little as 10 years, the apes could be extinct across most of their range."

Ewan McGregor, (star of Moulin Rouge, Star Wars - The Phantom Menace and Black Hawk Down), speaks as a gorilla voicing the threats facing not just the Great Apes, but all the plants, animals and people living in ancient forests whose home is threatened by destructive and illegal logging.

The film opens with a human family played by Andy Serkis (Golum in Lord of the Rings) and Emma Fielding (currently acting in Noel Coward's 'Private Lives' in London), experiencing the terrifying destruction of their home by chainsaws and bulldozers. This opening scene is then juxtaposed with the incredible beauty of the world's remaining ancients forests, and real footage from the relentless destruction of these forests.

As Ewan McGregor says in a haunting tone, an area of ancient forest the size of a football pitch disappears every two seconds - that's an area bigger than France and Spain in the last 10 years". The gorilla follows timber plundered from its ancient forest home to the consuming countries, showing how it ends up as paper, doors and hoardings around building sites.

Sir David Attenborough ends with a powerful call for world governments to clean up the timber trade and ban illegally logged timber. These governments now hold the power to choose whether they quite literally 'save or delete' the world's remaining ancient forests. 

The film is the second collaboration between Greenpeace and British film director, Julien Temple, whose films include 'The Great Rock and Roll Swindle', 'Absolute Beginners', 'Pandaemonium', and a feature documentary about the Sex Pistols, 'The Filth and the Fury', as well as award winning videos for the Rolling Stones, David Bowie and many others.

Julien Temple

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