Ever wonder where those elusive, expensive truffles come from, or how they end up on your plate? Filmmakers Dweck and Kershaw take us right to the heart of the matter, introducing us to an assortment of colorful, elderly gentlemen in Northern Italy and their beloved dogs, with whom they still hunt this delectable fungus. We learn that truffle hunting is more art than science, and a rapidly fading one at that, as climate change lessens the annual yield. Also, this age-old practice has become so cutthroat and commercial that at least some of these old-timers are either walking away, or refusing to pass down their secrets. Still, the joy of the hunt itself endures.
This indispensable doc works on so many levels: first, it is beautifully shot, with the directors romancing the rustic, gorgeous Italian scenery. Second, they won the full trust of these hunters — amazing characters all — who betray not a hint of self-consciousness as they speak to their dogs and reflect on their vocation in changing times. The tension between pure, hallowed traditions and the reality of truffle hunting as an increasingly competitive business adds dramatic heft to this utterly charming, often moving portrait. By all means, hunt down this special film!