The Singing Wilderness

: Documentary
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Production


A look at the life of Sigurd Olson (1899-1982) – nature writer, conservationist, and canoe guide – and his conviction that humans have a biological, evolutionary connection with wilderness, and that our spiritual well being is compromised when we are separated from it. The film reexamines his ideas for a new age, in which every advance in technology seems to further isolate us from our natural origins.



Sigurd Olson believed that deep within us all are traces of the primordial elements from which we were formed, and the DNA we share with fishes and bugs and wolves. For most of us these seeds lie dormant, smothered beneath layers of culture, custom, civilization, and technology, and it is only in contact with wilderness – in silence, solitude, and communion with nature – that we can reconnect with that primitive core of our being, our spiritual essence.

Sigurd Olson espoused his beliefs at a time when he felt that modern society was undermining our connection with our evolutionary memory and obscuring an essential selfunderstanding. And that was fifty years ago. With the burgeoning of the information age and our increasingly reckless plundering of the environment, his message assumes an even greater urgency today. By examining Olson’s life – the struggles and achievements which led him to his beliefs – and by evoking the wilderness experience as he did so eloquently in his writing, this film argues for the importance of wilderness for both our spiritual and our physical survival. It is a biography, a celebration of Sigurd’s life and work, a cinematic interpretation of his writing, and a quest for his relevance – and that of wilderness – in today’s world. It is also a call to reawaken within ourselves that primordial yearning, that burning deep within each of us which few even recognize and which has been all but snuffed out by modern civilization, by technological innovation, by iPhones and uplinks… a call that can only be answered in wilderness. We need Sigurd Olson’s voice to fan the latent glow we all carry inside.



No artisic statement provided


There are no key crew provided


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