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The Truffle Hunters: A Charming Documentary That Introduces the World to Some Unique Characters

April 9, 2021

Quick thoughts: The Truffle Hunters will put a smile on your face, and introduce you to a world of charming truffle hunters who all have their own reasons for hunting truffles.

Directed by Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw, The Truffle Hunters focuses on the hierarchy of the truffle hunting world in Italy. The documentary introduces us to Aurelio, Angelo, and other specialists who scour the Italian woods and countryside in hopes of finding large truffles they can sell. It’s an intriguing world full of secret hunting spots, poisoned dogs, and men who just can’t stop looking for truffles. It’s a blast watching the process as we get to see the hunters, and their dogs spending their days and nights walking through wooded terrains in hopes of finding truffles. Then, we get to see them sell them to Giancarlo, a middle-man, who then sells them at higher prices to restaurants, or auctions, in which a man named Carlo sells them to wealthy looking people who line up to smell each pungent treat.

Another neat aspect of the documentary is that it spends time with each of the personalities who spend the majority of their time covered in mud. The majority of the men are on the older side, and they are extremely secretive and paranoid about their hunting grounds and process. They all have trusted dogs, who smell out the truffles, and are occasionally in danger as other hunters leave poison behind to kill them (don’t worry, you never see a dog dying, but it is stressful). Each character is lovingly framed, and they must’ve trusted Dweck and Kershaw because the directors were given access to their private moments that involve arguments with their spouses who just want them home more. In one of the best moments, we are treated to a former hunter doing some casual typing and wine drinking. It’s a random moment that never feels exploitative as it’s super charming and captures a fun and organic seeming moment. 

What The Truffle Hunters really has going for it, is the neat cinematography that embraces static shots, and isn’t afraid to strap a GoPro to a dog for a semi-queasy moment of truffle hunting. It’s a beautiful looking documentary that was nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography by the American Society of Cinematography, and you’ll be constantly charmed by the framing of the locations and characters who hunt for the truffles. 

If you are looking for an excellent documentary that introduces you to a neat world inhabited with likable characters, you will love The Truffle Hunters.

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