This 2012 documentary explores the economic and creative potential of one of the icons of New Zealand’s forest: the kauri. Logging and fire have destroyed 95% of Aotearoa’s great kauri forests (this film was made before kauri dieback disease became a major threat). Director Mathurin Molgat poses a solution to the tree’s survival: commercial harvest. He frames the film around Laurie Williams, who makes guitars from the wood. In this excerpt, musician Tiki Taane talks about Tāne Mahuta, and a tree is prepared for felling. The film screened at a number of festivals in the United States.
Song of the Kauri tackles the universal politics of living on the tightrope between environmental sustainability and economic survival.– Director Mathurin Molgat
Live score by Mathurin Molgat and Nigel Gavin
Documentary includes music by Tiki Taane, Jackson Browne, Miranda Adams, Michael Chapdelaine, Jessie Coutts, Steve Wildey, Eden Roberts and Mark Mazengarb