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The Botany of Desire


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The Botany of Desire + Nature: What Plants Talk About
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Product Details

  • Actors: Featuring Michael Pollan, Narrated by Frances McDormand
  • Directors: Michael Schwarz
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: November 3, 2009
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002GXG59Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,041 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Featuring Michael Pollan and based on his best-selling book, this special takes viewers on an eye-opening exploration of the human relationship with the plant world -- seen from the plants' point of view. Narrated by Frances McDormand, the program shows how four familiar species -- the apple, the tulip, marijuana and the potato -- evolved to satisfy our yearnings for sweetness, beauty, intoxication and control.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
39
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See all 47 customer reviews
The video itself is very well done and of high quality.
LeAnn Riley
This documentary was well produced and the subject matter was fascinating.
M. Buckman
This movie is great, based on the book of the same name.
LW137

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By M. Buckman on December 10, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This documentary was well produced and the subject matter was fascinating. I never knew that apples and potatoes had such variety or deep histories. This film was an eye opener into the world of human plant use that should be seen by all horticulturists.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By M. Archer on February 6, 2010
Format: DVD
I really enjoyed the author's take on who ia the superior species living on this planet, plants make themselves attractive to animals and insects in order to propagate themselves around the world. It has been documented that plants anticipate and show reaction to being cut, sung to, primped and pampered - leads us to wonder who really rules the earth. Great book, actually my favorite Pollan writing.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By bernie HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 5, 2010
Format: Blu-ray
Based on the book by Michael Pollan.

Right from the front of this documentary or speculative paradigm change, "When we use these metaphors and we talk about plants having a strategy to do this or wanting this or desiring this, we are being metaphorical obviously. I mean that plants do not have consciousness but this is the fault of our own vocabulary."

What if plants to serve their purpose were manipulating us?

We select four plants to demonstrate the premise.
The four plants used to promote this viewpoint are:
tulips (beauty)
marijuana (intoxication)
apple (sweetness)
Potato (control).

We follow each plant through its history and interaction with people.

Michael Pollan's bottom line warning is to get away from monoculture.
"We are not simply standing outside the web of life. But that we are part of that web of life."

I only saw the Blu-ray version. The Aspect Ratio is 1.33:1 but you can tell that they squeezed some wider views down as many people and objects were very vertical. There are a few DVD extras that include deleted scenes, More of Michael Pollan's Interview and Perspectives form artists, humanities, and sciences.

The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World
Green cargoes
A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Color of Desire
The Day of the Triffids
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By aries magic on January 25, 2010
Format: DVD
This is a very interesting movie that shows how we, as man, perpetuate species to our own ends, while the plant exploits us for its survival. It is beautifully filmed and interesting to watch. Of the many points made, the issue of genetically modified plants being included in our food without our knowledge is very eye opening and scarey. The movie also gives hope that we do not have to bow down to agribusiness and let them serve us whatever garbage they want us to believe (or eat). Very good film.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Farah Hagman on January 13, 2010
Format: DVD
I saw this documentary on netflix after i read about it in eating well magazine. Very intriguing. I checked out the website for the show (very nice for teachers and educators). On there, you can find 4 lesson plans to teach most ages about these wonderful plants (yes all of them :)
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Ali on December 5, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Although the movie itself was great I was very disappointed that it was not closed captioned as it claimed to be. As a deaf person who relies on closed captioning nothing is more frustrating....
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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful By David S. Ogden on October 29, 2009
Format: DVD
Michael Pollan--it just occurred to me how close his name is to "pollen--garners five stars from me for this excellent PBS documentary based on his book, "Botany of Desire". This program was produced by Pollan's long-time friend Michael Schwartz, and their collaboration gives us a little work of art that's way greater than the sum of its parts.

Congrats to both Michaels. Buy this video and learn its many lessons.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By jimi page on February 13, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Botany of desire takes an original angle on the relationshin between us and plants. Highly recommended.
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