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Review: F*ck for Forest

April 18, 2013

Film + Entertainment | by Francesco Cerniglia

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Berlin’s F*ck For Forest is one of the world’s more unusual charities, raising money to save the forest by making and distributing pornography. Quirky, experimental, boundary pushing, what else would you expect from a charity based in Berlin, with its ever expanding underground subculture attracting life’s eccentrics. Based on the idea that sex can save the world, the NGO raises money for their environmental cause by selling home-made erotic films on the internet. Intrigued? Then check out the documentary about this off-beat charity.

Michael Marczak’s film, winner of the Best Feature Documentary at the Warsaw Festival, follows a young and in many ways naïve group of people, Leona Johansson, Tommy Hol Ellingsen, Natty Mandeau and Danny Devero (and supporter Kaajal Shetty) who have taken the old hippy idea of peace and love, and communing with nature to a new level, arguably in tune with modern media driven, voyeuristic times, where people want something for their money and almost equal amounts for nothing. Don’t read what I’m saying about this group as patronising because, to an extent, their passion and conviction is admirable. They have managed to raise enough funds to visit the Amazon, where the light-hearted tone of the film does shift. In the context of Berlin, a developed and relatively financial secure European city, they’re trying to get people to participate in porn to save forests and the reactions that ensue are humorous, but take this carefree behaviour and contrast it with the amorous positions of villagers living in poverty in the Amazon and you have some behaviour and ideas that are somewhat narrow-minded and unrealistic.

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F*ck For Forest consists of a group of people from different backgrounds who share a need to stay childlike and carefree, so they do so for a cause. They do seem to genuinely want to help people but this film shows that no matter how good our intentions are they need to be founded on the needs of the people you wish to help, not your own. This film has no agenda other than to entertain audiences by showing us an odd ol’ group having sex to save trees. The camera work is good and the documentary is fun but unsurprisingly it contains nudity and laughs.

Whatever your opinion on what this charity is doing, this is a pretty interesting and engaging documentary that will horrify some but make many smile as a result of encountering just how obscure human beings can be.

Kerry Flint.

F**ck for Forest is released in UK cinemas tomorrow.