Recently watched ‘The Truffle Hunters’ which someone told me was about nothing and that nothing happens but that I would probably love it.
The someone was right. I loved it.
Wrong about the nothing though.
Far more everything than nothing in the ordinary daily lives of Italian white truffle hunters and their dogs. The dogs being essential to the finding of truffles and the finding of truffles being essential to the livelihoods of these people and how everything is symbiotic.
One long perfect scene is shot from the dog’s perspective in the moments while waiting to be let out of the car, then running through the woods. Another has a man and woman washing tomatoes in deep silence, just the splash of water, tomatoes being picked up, rinsed, put down, picked up, dried, no other sound until the man eventually says: I love fresh tomatoes so much. In another: a man wears shorts in the bathtub while washing his dog. In another: a 90 year old man feeds his dog treats while telling it not to be alarmed but there may come a day when he won’t be around anymore.
The side story is the enormity of the truffle industry with clients around the world, the ugly, ruthless chain of Big Business. But this part is only briefly touched on, more implied, this polar opposite view of a ‘commodity’. Thankfully the focus of the film remains on the simple origins of the commodity, the integrity of the truffle hunters themselves and the love, pride, and passion for their work.
And the dogs.
There is of course another element, something the film left out — the fact that any mushroom, even truffles, indicates the presence of fairies.
But I suppose that’s another movie altogether.
And I would probably love that one too.