Mushrooms and the Strange People Who Hunt Them

| 6/23/2009 1:11:52 PM

Know Your Mushrooms

It's not something we set out to do, but we've carved out something of a mushroom beat for ourselves. We've written about mushrooms at Chernobyla rennaissance mycologistthe medical magic of mushroomsan annual Russian mushroom hunt, and clandestine mushroom harvests in America's protected forests.

Now there is a movie about mushrooms, and it seems to play right to our sweet spot. The trailer for Know Your Mushrooms tells us little, but it's beautiful:

The film's website is less coy:

The oldest and largest living organisms recorded on Earth are both fungi. And their use by a new, maverick breed of scientists and thinkers has proven vital in the cleansing of sites despoiled by toxins and as a “clean” pesticide among many other environmentally-friendly applications.

Inspired by a chance conversation with fellow filmmaker and mushroom buff Jim Jarmusch, Rob Mann set off to the annual Telluride Mushroom Festival in Colorado. It was there he encountered the unique sub-sub-subculture surrounding fungi that includes an unlikely assortment of nerds, nuts, hipsters, tripsters, artists, chefs, musicians, foodies, foragers, and seekers all paying homage to the mighty mushroom.

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