“Fantastic Fungi” is one of the most beautiful, illuminating and moving documentary films I’ve ever seen and this ancient reviewer has witnessed quite a few over the years.
The film explores the world of fungus specifically mushrooms, their mysterious properties and intricate patterns of growth everywhere, going on for centuries.
The story profiles mycologist Paul Stamets who has researched mushrooms for years to understand the thousands of species and their vital role in the life and death cycles of decay and regeneration in nature.
After an extensive examination of the science of fungi (fascinatingly illustrated), the filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg moves on to show how certain types of mushrooms are being used in psychiatric circles.
Interviews focus on a team at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore that is researching the use of psychedelics (drawn from mushrooms) in a therapeutic setting.
The narration, voiced by Brie Larson, seems to draw on the recent book “How to Change Your Mind” by Michael Pollan.
Pollan is interviewed in the film as are several of the Hopkins scientists that were included in his book.
The enlightening “Fantastic Fungi” will change the way you see and think about the world.
Fantastic Fungi will be playing through January 9th.