Not so steady, but real and ready, snout cam is deployed to depict the doggedness of the treat seeking missiles, the olfactory fidos in THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS, Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw’s film of the foragers of forest delicacies in Piedmont, Italy.
Deep in the forests of Piedmont, Italy, a handful of men, seventy or eighty years young, fossick for the rare and expensive white Alba truffle—which to date has resisted all of modern science’s efforts at cultivation. They’re guided by the noses of their feted and expertly trained dogs.
These cherished canines are more than just working dogs, they are business partners, with an acumen that is priceless. To some, these canines are companions, confidants, collaborators, more than any spouse could be, as cherished as a child.
These men, most of them bachelors, live a simpler, slower way of life, in harmony with their loyal animals and their picture-perfect, almost fairy-tale land.
These geezers, these truffle hunters, present like old duffers, but their passion and their knowledge is profound, and their eccentricity know no bound.
One of the hunters, a toothless typist who writes when on the piss, is an ex acrobat and stilt walker. A lay back lumberjack who is illogical with logs but soppy with dogs and completely savvy about the market value of truffles.
The one married truffle hunter, Carlo, has a wife wanting him to retire. She is concerned that at eighty-eight he is too old to forage for the fungi that fetches a small fortune. But it’s the life that keeps him sprightly and alive – to retire would be to expire.
The demand for white truffles increases year after year, even as the supply decreases. As a result of climate change, deforestation, the ancient truffle hunters’ secrets are more coveted than ever.
But as THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS gloriously illustrates, the greatest wealth of these ageing men is their obvious health and zest for life.