Wood Of Value

Wood Of Value


Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

We open with footage of a forest, marks on a tree. Blue paint, streamers, Norwegian loggers listening to the radio. There are picnic tables and Christmas hats, preparations are in earnest. It's carefully explained to the choir that each will get two sausages, a carton of juice, a bun or a muffin. This is part of an annual tradition, a gift from one country to another as thanks for war-time assistance.

"You're going to see something you've never seen before. When the tree is cut it will go... up." The lorry with a gantry like an empty bridge vanishes under the tree. We follow it and its escort down dark roads to the ferry port, watch it soughing in the metal hold of the ship as it is bounced by its passage over the waves. Then into London, more choirs, more cranes, an explanation of the gift. We've seen a short speech from the Ambassador, the faces of those looking at the tree, two discs taken from that mighty trunk.

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Unfortunately, documentaries about interesting subjects are not intrinsically interesting. It's well shot, with good sound work, but it never quite engages. Some historical context, perhaps, a change in its ordering, archive footage or something. It's minimal, and that's to the good, but taken from its origins it's a tree without baubles. Pleasant enough, but if feels like it needs more.

Reviewed on: 02 Mar 2011
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A documentary following a special Christmas tree on its journey across the North Sea from Norway to London.
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Director: Bjorn Bratberg

Year: 2010

Runtime: 16 minutes

Country: Norway, UK

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