The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World

10/04/2019 @ 7:45 pm – 9:45 pm
Foxlowe Arts Centre
Market Place
ST13 6AD.
01538 386112

Based on Michael Pollan’s bestseller, this intriguing documentary examines the ways that humans rely on (and relate to) four key plants: the apple, potato, tulip, and marijuana. We’ve always had the notion that we are in charge, but what if they have been controlling us and using us for their own ends? Narrated by Frances McDormand (Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Mo.) it looks at the relationship from each plant’s perspective. When that happens, things start to look very different and we become aware that we’re just part of nature’s web and not outside it. In that respect these plants become critical mirrors for us to view our position in the global ecosystem.

USA 2009 120 min 

Free entry – donations welcome.

There will be a Fairtrade stall in the bar before the start of the film.

Cinema located on first floor – regrettably no disabled access.

Licensed bar, hot drinks available from 7 pm.

NB Documentary screenings are now on the 2nd Wednesday of the month.


We couldn’t find many professional reviews of the film but here’s what reviewers thought of the book:

“Pollan shines a light on our own nature as well as our implication in the natural world.” The New York Times

“[Pollan] has a wide-ranging intellect, an eager grasp of evolutionary biology and a subversive streak that helps him to root out some wonderfully counterintuitive points. His prose both shimmers and snaps, and he has a knack for finding perfect quotes in the oddest places. Best of all, Pollan really loves plants.” The New York Times Book Review

“A wry, informed pastoral.” The New Yorker

“We can give no higher praise to the work of this superb science writer/reporter than to say that his new book is as exciting as any you’ll read.” Entertainment Weekly

“A whimsical, literary romp through man’s perpetually frustrating and always unpredictable relationship with nature.”  Los Angeles Times

“Until I read Michael Pollan’s original, provocative and charming The Botany of Desire, I had never managed to get inside the soul of a plant. Mr. Pollan, an accomplished gardener and garden writer, presents a plant’s-eye view of the world that challenged some of my most basic assumptions about gardening, particularly the one about whether I control my lilies or they control me. Mr. Pollan disabused me of my anthropocentric ignorance. In his elegant sections on marijuana and potatoes, Mr. Pollan braids together cosmic ideas, conversations with experts and day-to-day reports from his own garden. Mr. Pollan’s discussion of the genetically engineered NewLeaf potato, which was devised to resist its most dreaded enemy, the Colorado potato beetle, is a lucid and balanced assessment of this new horticultural technology, a subject too often tackled with barely muffled hysteria.” The Wall Street Journal

“A don’t-wanna-put-it-down unspooling of the socio-political, economic and historical forces that led to the cultivation of four crops. Pollan is a master at making connections, seeing the lines that connect disparate dots in the complexities of the garden, be they of a political, literary, historical, socioeconomic or, even, sexual realm.” Chicago Tribune

“Funny, interesting and as delicious as a slice of summer peach … a must for people who like a good story.” New York Daily News

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