Alex Afshar’s film is one about discovering your own self, connecting to important things in life – like nature – and to the knowledge and experience of one’s own predecessors, and about self development… or better said self enlightenment.
A young man is living alone close to a forest in times that seem very challenging – people work more and harder, food becomes scarce, level of stress becomes very high. This sounds very familiar really if you carefully think about it. In this environment he will begin hearing a strange voice when passing by the forest. What he will discover while trying to track the provenience of the voice will lead him to a whole new side of himself.
‘The Living Forest’ has a very philosophical side: we are in a constant process of learning but it’s ourselves that we know the least about. This is what makes us uneasy and out of self-control, frightened and prudent at the same time. This is also the first teaching that we would be so happy to abandon – the teaching about our true self. This is probably because it would mean to mirror and see ourselves as we truly are – this must be the most difficult thing to accept in life. Alex Afshar’s character manages to go through this initiation journey with the help of the teachings from his father and his grandfather in which he will find the models for self mastery and deep knowledge.
This is a film that lies at the border of sci-fi and fantasy, drama and thriller. The future about which the director is telling us sounds very real, very up to date, the values about which he praises are very old and forgotten but still valid which makes them accesible to very few, the enlightenment that he tries to point to… only tangible through the heir of our ancestors: their knowledge, their experience, their understanding transferred to us.