ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AT DORK SHELF
Musicwood examines the environmental impact that producing acoustic guitars has (focusing mainly on the State of Alaska, since it produces most of the sought after ‘Sitka Spruce’), and the attempt to merge concerned parties like Greenpeace and top guitar makers in the world to preserve those trees. The film follows along as world-famous guitar-makers travel into a primordial rain forest to negotiate with Native American loggers before it’s too late for acoustic guitars.
It’s a methodical examination the story of the Musicwood Coalition from multiple angles. While the attempt to unite all concerned parties under one entity is ideal in concept, actually achieving the ideal is much harder. While the film manages to convey this point effectively, it also includes other issues that occur along the way, like the rosewood from Madagascar that one guitar company is busted buying illegally, that can muddle the story instead of adding to it. While these excursions are brief, they do take its toll on the overall impact of message.
The importance of the story is undeniable. Musicwood manages to put a new spin and face to the cause of preserving our natural resources. It works, yet it could easily benefit from a little more focus. Acoustic musicians (Steve Earle, Kaki King, Yo La Tengo and many more) also provide insight from the musician’s standpoint and supply a moving soundtrack. The result is a complex and heartbreaking battle over natural resources, and a profound cultural conflict.
Till Next Time
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