Review By Frances Winston
Directed by: Michael Dweck, Gregory Kershaw
In cinemas now!
If you’ve ever eaten a dish with truffle while dining out, you will know that this coveted ingredient is an incredibly expensive addition to any meal, and can exponentially increase the price, especially the extremely rare white Alba Truffle, which can only be found in the wild, as despite scientists’ best efforts, they have not managed to cultivate commercially.
Therefore trade in these truffles can be quite lucrative – if you can find them. This documentary, set deep in the forests of Piedmont, Italy, follows a handful of men, all in their seventies and eighties, who hunt for this rare and expensive white truffle. They set out with their dogs, looking for the best specimens to sell on.
It might not sound wildly exciting, but this is an extremely interesting world that most people actually know nothing about. While hunting for truffles with your dog might sound straightforward, there are plenty of hurdles, including people laying cyanide traps to poison the pooches, there are rows over who has the rights to what land, and even frustrated wives who feel that schlepping through the woods at night is too dangerous for her 80-something husband.
Although this is gently paced, there is quite a lot going on, as they all attempt to bring home the best truffles, which then go on to sell for extremely lucrative prices. An extremely eclectic mix of characters helps to keep this engaging, and their commitment to the truffle hunt is truly a wonder.
Foodies will love this, but it’s not just for those with an interest in the subject. This is an extremely enlightening documentary, that shows us a whole world that most people don’t even realise exists. In a world full of technology and quick fixes, their gentle pace of life, and old-fashioned way of sourcing truffles, feels quaint and endearing. If you didn’t know this was shot recently, you might think it was a throwback to another era.
A lovely, gentle documentary, that will definitely leave you wondering what all the fuss is about, and wanting to try this truffle.
See trailer below: