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#WatchReadThinkAct 2022: The Mushroom Speaks


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We're over the moon to be bringing back last year's collaboration with Take One Action, the UK’s leading global change film festival.

This year, our pals over at the festival have created an absolutely stunning, carefully curated program of films to move hearts, change minds and provoke action, all based on the meaning of the earth beneath our feet: 'land as material, as power, and as terrain for violence and resistance'.

Under the banner of #WatchReadThinkAct we'll be releasing a reading list for each programmed film, every week until the start of the Edinburgh festival (16 - 18th Sep). Each list is curated by one of our booksellers who, having watched the film, suggests pathways for further exploration through a list of books. We'll also include links to grassroots organisations and international campaigns tied to the subject matter of each film: a toolkit for watching, reading, thinking and acting.

Check out the previous posts for the films 'Delikado', 'Foragers' and 'Hostile'.

For this instalment, Jess has watched 'The Mushroom Speaks' (2021), directed by Marion Neumann:

An experience unlike any other, The Mushroom Speaks invites us to dive into the very essence of connectivity, to spend time with other forms of being, and to re-consider what it means for living things to thrive. In doing so, it also unchains our curiosity with regards to what could be, to the future and how we could meet it collectively.

I learned an incredible amount watching it. With each frame and movement - from the passionate voice of a mushroom picker or mycologist to a microscopic image of spores - I felt like I was being ushered deeper and deeper into both poetry and very practical knowledge - the best kind of combination. It made me think of mushroom picking with my family in Sweden (chanterelles and yellow foot) in a different way, as an activity with many participants, only some of them visible to our eyes.

More than anything, and in the most grounded ways, the film begins to shift the view of human bodies, and individual lives, as distinct entities. Following from that, I've filled this reading list with a combination of mushroom-specific books, both practical and more expansive, writing about connectivity and ecology at large, and books that explore ideas of entanglement and resilience in communities and in ourselves.

Groups to check out if you want to learn more about, and from, mushrooms:

Rhyze Mushrooms

Myceliart Collective

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Check back in for our next #WatchReadThinkAct list! Take One Action's program of screenings and additional online short films is available on their website HERE.

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