Il Segreto Del Bosco Vecchio (1993)

Run Time - 134 min.  |   Countries - Italy  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Clarke Fountain

In this somewhat overlong children's fantasy, Colonel Procolo (Paolo Villagio) has inherited the duty of taking care of a large tract of woodland in northern Italy. He is charged with ensuring that no harm comes to the oldest trees in it. Furthermore, he is only an executor for the property, which is to go to his young nephew (Riccardo Zannantonio) when he reaches his majority. The colonel is a typical product of our age, and immediately concocts a plan to sell precisely the old trees that he has been charged to preserve in order to make a goodly amount of money. One day a forest ranger comes to see him and informs him that each tree is inhabited by a spirit which could help him if he leaves everything as it is. Thinking that this is pure poppycock, he cuts down an old tree, and finds the forest filled with mourners who have come to pay homage to their friend, the being that inhabited the tree. It turns out that the ranger himself is such a spirit, and the trees, animals and even the wind are sentient and are outspoken about what happens in their wood.