Gloss and pseudo-flair are not issues close to the heart of Polish director Michal Marczak’s documentary on the eponymous Berlin-based NGO eco-initiative Fuck For Forest, known for their efforts to save the planet by taking nude photos, making porn videos and generally striving to break down the social prejudices that encourage too many of us to keep our clothes on.
Marczak turns an overly dispassionate eye on an eclectic group of activists under the leadership of Leona and Tommy as they go about building up an impressive nest egg of over €400,000 by selling their photos and videos online. Extreme states of love and peace follow them as they travel to the Amazon basin to decide whether or not to financially support a group of native Peruvians in their bid to acquire 800 hectares of virgin rainforest. In a ‘town hall’ meeting with the locals, it becomes clear that their well-intentioned naiveté is just too much even for people fighting for precisely the way of life that FFF aims to (re)establish.
Interesting above all for its rendition of a lifestyle and creed that most of us know only from Easy Rider, Marczak’s film fails mainly because it simply can’t (or won’t) rouse real sympathy for its protagonists and/or provide the kind of structured context that might have presented their honourable commitment in a better light. As it is, fucking for the forest isn’t that much fun – even for those concerned.
Fuck For Forest | Directed by Michal Marczak (Poland, Germany 2012) with Tommy Hol Ellingsen, Leona Johansson. Starts June 13
Originally published in Issue #117, June 2013