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Pushed Up the Mountain 2020


Distributed by Good Docs
Produced by Julia Haslett and Mengqi Jiang
Directed by Julia Haslett
Streaming, 76 mins

College - General Adult
Botany; Ecology; Horticulture

Date Entered: 04/20/2022

Reviewed by Kristan Majors, Woodruff Library, Emory University

The filmmakers aptly describe this documentary as a “poetic and emotionally intimate film about plants and the people who care for them.” This documentary is in homage to loved ones and the rhododendrons they protected. Viewers travel from Scotland to China to the United States in 76 minutes. The footage is a mix of quirky home videos, interviews, various archival footage, and gorgeous landscape videography.

The documentary has portions relevant to college and university courses studying herbaria, botanical museums & collections, seed banks, and botanical & conservation gardens. A diverse group of professionals are interviewed including horticulturalists, botanists, archivists, conservation biologists, and environmental historians. For classes with less than an hour viewing time, instructors must select the relevant portions prior to class. The streaming version does not include a menu to assist instructors in selecting appropriate sections.

There are other documentaries on seed banks, but this documentary may be unique in outlining how to research a plant’s history by introducing the people, steps, and facilities involved. For collections supporting botanical programs and facilities, this documentary is recommended.

Silver Award, University Film Video Association

Published and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Anyone can use these reviews, so long as they comply with the terms of the license.