Forest for the Trees

Forest for the Trees

This visually stunning documentary chronicles the physical and emotional aspects of life as a tree planter in the wilderness of British Columbia. Award-winning war photographer Rita Leistner goes back to where she herself was a tree planter in her youth to document the grueling, sometimes fun and always life-changing experience of restoring Canada’s forests.

Leistner effectively describes how it all works via chalk outlines and drawings, sometimes overlaying it atop the real-life footage. This not only gets exposition, for lack of a better term, out of the way in an entertaining manner, but it also adds a bit of levity to what is occasionally a very somber experience.” Bobby LePire, Film Threat,

Rita Leistner’s evocative and layered documentary provides spectacular footage of the remote and wild landscape in British Columbia, as well as an in-depth look at the the daily life of tree planters. The film is also a fascinating study on perseverance, and the deep connections between body and mind.” Jen McNeely, She Does the City

Awards and Nominations

Victoria Film Festival, Victoria 2022 – Winner Audience Favourite Feature
Canadian Screen Awards, 2022 – Nominee
DOXA Documentary Film Festival, 2021 – Official Selection
CINEFEST, Sudbury 2022 – Official Selection


Rita Leistner



Film Details

2021, 91 min