Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Meet ‘The Fruit Hunters’

Documentary film is part of Center for the Arts project on forests


The documentary film “The Fruit Hunters” will be screened Thursday, Oct. 9, at the Magic Lantern Cinemas in Ketchum.
Courtesy graphic

    The documentary film “The Fruit Hunters,” to be screened Thursday, Oct. 9, at Magic Lantern Cinemas in Ketchum, opens a world of fruit unknown to most of us who know only what we see in our supermarket bins.
       The screening at 7 p.m. is part of the Sun Valley Center for the Arts’ exhibition “Forests, Foraging and Fires,” which explores the forest as an ecosystem, a resource and a place of transformation.
    This film from writer and director Yung Chang (“Up the Yangtze” and “China Heavyweight”) examines the activities of people obsessed with fruit and who scour jungles and forests to track down rare specimens and save fruits that are threatened by development and disease. “The Fruit Hunters” travels across culture, history and geography to show how intertwined we are with the fruits we eat.
    The film, released in 2012 by Montreal-based Eye Steel Film, was inspired by the book “The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Obsession, Commerce and Adventure,” by Adam Leith Gollner.
    Chang spent two years following fruit-obsessed horticulturalists, pomologists (botanists who study fruit) and backyard enthusiasts to places such as Bali, Indonesia, in search of white-fleshed mangoes and to Borneo for the rare kura-kura durian.
    Among other stories, the film chronicles movie star Bill Pullman’s crusade to create a community orchard in the Hollywood Hills. Adventurers Noris Ledesma and Richard Campbell scour the jungle for rare mangoes, hoping to intervene before the plants are steamrolled by industrialization. Pioneering Honduran scientist Juan Aguilar races to breed bananas resistant to a deadly fungus that threatens the worldwide monoculture crop. Fruit detectives including Isabella Dalla Ragione investigate Renaissance-era paintings for clues, hoping to rediscover lost fruits.

Once you realize there is this endless world of thousands of varieties of fruit, it’s almost as if fruit gives you a sense of hope.”
Yung Chang
Director ‘The Fruit Hunters’

    And, of course, there are the fruits themselves, presented in all their mouthwatering glory: cherimoyas, ice cream beans, durians and more.
    “Once you realize there is this endless world of thousands of varieties of fruit, it’s almost as if fruit gives you a sense of hope, a sense that there’s this diversity out there,” Chang told CBC News. “I want people to get hooked, addicted to fruit. I certainly have, in making this movie.”
    Chang, a Chinese-Canadian raised in Ontario, made his feature documentary “Up the Yangtze” in 2007. The film used China’s highly contested Three Gorges Dam as a dramatic backdrop for a moving and richly detailed narrative of a peasant family negotiating unprecedented historic changes. “Up The Yangtze” played at numerous festivals and was one of the top-grossing documentary box office releases in 2008. “China Heavyweight” is a documentary on teenagers in rural southwestern China who are recruited as their country’s next Olympic hopefuls.
    The Sun Valley Center’s curator of visual arts, Courtney Gilbert, said the programs that are part of the “Forests, Foraging and Fires” exhibition “offer tremendous opportunities for considering our human relationship to the forest from a variety of different viewpoints—what do we take from the forest, how do we manage it, how should we care for it?”
    The exhibition runs through Nov. 12.
    Tickets for “The Fruit Hunters” are $10 for Center members, $12 for nonmembers. People can purchase tickets in advance at, or call 726-9491 or buy them at the Magic Lantern the evening of the screening.

About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads

 Local Weather 
Search archives:

Copyright © 2023 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.