Hot Docs 2019: Acid Forest

Acid Forest (2018) 1h 3min | Documentary | 5 April 2019 (Lithuania) Summary: A wispy stretch of land from Russia to Lithuania is home to an unlikely tourist attraction: a dying forest of leafless trees overtaken by thousands of ancient black birds ruining the area with their acid-fortified feces.
Countries: LithuaniaLanguages: Lithuanian, English, German, French, Finnish

Visitors to an ancient pine forest in Lithuania comment on the destruction caused by the local cormorant population in Acid Forest. Over the past couple of decades, cormorants have made their home in the Curonian Spit, with the bird’s acidic excrement having killed off the 200 year old pine trees in the area. Tourists come to watch the cormorants from an observation deck and comment about whether these “flying rats” should be the protective species that they are.

Acid Forest is an observational nature documentary constructed entirely of shot of this dead forest, accompanied by the commentary of the various visitors. While this does make the film a bit monotonous, Acid Forest does feature some quite well-done cinematography, while also tacking the question about whether cormorants should be considered pests, simply because their excrement is acidic to pines.