ABOUT THE FOREST, 2021. Documentary 96 min.

Most of us know that the rainforests of the Amazon and Borneo are being destroyed, but fewer are aware that almost all of Sweden's old-growth forests are gone. Today, only a fraction of Sweden's original natural forests remain. The rest are cultivated forest plantations and industrial stands that are plowed, planted and harvested the same way as a farmer's field. In these monoculture industrial tree stands, there is a lack of biodiversity. The trees are cut down as soon as they reach a certain commercially desirable size. Despite the fact that the Swedish forestry sector often presents itself as both considerate and responsible, the felling of the last vestiges of virgin and semi-natural forest ecosystems continues.

Commercial forestry constitutes the greatest threat to plant and wildlife in Sweden. About 53 percent of Sweden's red-listed species rely on the forest for their livelihood.

In Sweden we are frequently told that our forest ecosystem is a "carbon sink" that absorbs about 43 million tons of carbon dioxide per year from the atmosphere—that forests can help counter climate change. But why is no one talking about the fact that commercial forestry and the forest industry emit over 80 million tons of carbon dioxide per year? The emissions from the production of paper alone are double that of traffic, that is, nearly 30 million tons of carbon dioxide per year.

The forest sector is responsible for about 61 percent of Sweden's direct greenhouse gas emissions.

Swedish forestry industry has a saying, "For every tree that is felled, two new are planted." But how sustainable is the Swedish forestry industry really? Do the Swedish Forest Agency's "freedom with responsibility" and "general regard and respect" provide enough protection? In essence, these concepts leave a great deal of freedom with forest owners to make responsible decisions regarding the management of their forests taking into consideration local geology and climate as well as the environment, within the parameters of the Swedish laws and regulations. But is this hands-off approach sufficient to protect and safeguard biodiversity and not adversely impact the climate?

ABOUT THE FOREST is distributed by Helion film in coproduction with Folkets bio and Folkets hus och parker. ABOUT THE FOREST continues to be shown during 2023, and most screenings take place in connection with the panel discussion.

Seoul International Eco Film Festival, 2-8 juni
Be-Polar Film Festival, Warsawa Polen, 20 mars
Hagabion, Göteborg 26 feb
Festival de las Ciencias, Patagonien Chile, 5 feb

Sveriges Generalkonsulat i Shanghai, Kina 17 dec, Sebastian Kirppu deltar
Kungsbacka kommun, 19 oktober
Årsta Folkets hus 7 sep, regissör och producent deltar och Stefan Sundström spelar live
Bio Elektra, Västerås. 30 augusti. Sebastian Kirppu deltar.
Degerfors Folkets hus 1 juni
Skoghalls Folkets hus, 26 april, Sebastian Kirppu och Ewa Cederstam deltar
Folkets hus Bagarmossen, 8 april. Helaftonskväll med Stefan Sundström live
Folkets hus Smedjebacken, 4 april, Sebastian Kirppu och Ewa Cederstam deltar
Örnsköldsviks folkhögskola, 31 mars. Po Tidholm deltar

Bio Panora, Malmö 20 dec
Ljusglimt, Arjeplog 26-27 nov
Biograf Odeon, Skövde 23 nov
Rackstadsmusset, Arvika 20 nov
Fyrisbiografen, Uppsala 15 nov
Bio Zita, Stockholm 14 nov
Södra Stockholms filmfestival, Skarpnäck 29 okt
Gröna Ladan, Sigtuna 27 oktober
Hagabion, Göteborg 9-10 okt
Hagabion, Göteborg 25-27 sep
Folkets bio Umeå, 26 sep
Tiny Tempo, 15-19 sep
Lidköpings Folkets hus, Lidköping 16 sep
Sagabion, Adak 25 juli
Östergarn Bio, Katthammarsvik 22 juli
Kafé Nyfiket, Rättvik 22 juli
Bio Kontrast, Olofström 29 juni
Bio Panora, Malmö 22 maj-22 juli
Bio Palladium, Växjö 27 mars-8 april
Bio Tellus, Stockholm 7 mars
Bio Zita, Stockholm 19 feb-4 april
Bio Kino, Lund 5 feb-18 mars

★★★★ "Lågintensivt och välargumenterat filmiskt debattinlägg om rätten till gamla skogar" – DN

"Slår hål på lögnen om skogslandet Sverige" - Stefan Sundström, ETC

"Filmisk brandfackla om Sveriges hotade natur" - Sydsvenskan

"Angeläget när skogen blir huvudperson" - Skånska Dagbladet

Directing, cinematography, editing, grading

Associated producer

A co-production with Region Värmland, Film i Dalarna and Filmpool Nord.
With support from Swedish filminstitute, Konstnärsnämnden, Filmpool inom region Jämtland Härjedalen, Sveriges television, Region Gävleborg.
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