How could you not be hopeful if you’ve got a tree around?

How could you not be hopeful if you’ve got a tree around?

—Ross Spears, Johnson City, Tennessee

Film Series

The Truth About Trees is the first full-length documentary film series to explore the indispensable role of trees for all life on Earth. Like filmmaker Ross Spears' previous series, Appalachia, The Truth About Trees demonstrates that natural history and human history are utterly connected—that they are in fact part of the same story. The series is slated to be ready for distribution in late 2016.

Part One

Part One begins with the profound interconnection between humans and trees, from the oxygen we breathe and water we drink, to foods and medicines, tools and building materials, and even ceremonies and symbols. The very words "tree" and "truth," we learn, both have roots in an ancient word for "endure."

Part One

Part Two is an in-depth portrait of this amazing lifeform and its 400-million-year evolutionary history. At the center of the story is the process of photosynthesis, wherein light energy is converted to chemical energy, the key to all life on Earth.

Part Three

Part Three explores the role of trees in the functioning of Earth's biosphere, from healthy forest communities to urban trees. Inevitably we turn to crises now confronting forests, including potentially catastrophic climate change. Throughout, we meet scientists and tree lovers of all stripes who are working to understand, conserve, and care for trees.

James Agee Film Project

Agee Films produces and distributes award-winning documentary films on a wide range of subjects, including environmental history, social justice, and American history and culture. Founded in 1974 by filmmaker Ross Spears, Agee Films is named for novelist, screenwriter, and journalist James Agee, subject of Ross's first film.