Sight is restored to the blind man, and yet what he sees is something more, a vision. The film too strives to make visible what at first glance appears hidden: the secret life of the tree and the second life of wood.

In a world chock-full of artificial signs, it is truly difficult to be enthralled, yet also comforted, at the sight of a tree. Yet there are people capable of restoring our sight, someone who has been blind as we are, but who began to see once again, who has learned from nature —someone who is a man, but also a tree that walks. And so the tree that walks looks like a young woodsman who wakes at dawn, a luthier who builds musical instruments, a sculptor, an ingenious inventor, a naval engineer, or an elderly partisan.

In the film, these are the characters who give form to wood so that it may become watercraft, sculpture, violin, paper, cross, or memorial. They are wise figures, commentators with a unique view on the world we live in.

Trees that walk is a vision of constant birth and death, a vision that becomes word as well as voice, that of the writer Erri De Luca who gave his written words so they would become a literary skeleton—the film’s cinematographic material, made as it is of characters just as common as they are extraordinary.

Mattia Colombo


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