THE MAN WHO PLANTS THE TREES – Alena Blažejovská – ČESKÝ ROZHLAS – Czech Republic

subtitled video | 57 min


The author of the documentary, Alena Blažejovská, met the hero of the well-known story by Jean Giono in the shape of forester Jiří Nohel, whose forest district lies close to Velká Bíteš on the edge of the Vysočina highlands.
She recorded him during the four seasons of 2018 speaking about his journey to a forest close to nature.
The forester, but also a poet and musician (Žalozpěv and Listověj bands) will guide us through a forest affected by drought and the bark beetle, which also restores itself again and again for eternal life.
It is not slow radio, but we will get lost in a forest and repeat his saying: “Let it be for today, the forest didn’t grow in a year either”.

Directed by Radim Nejedlý.


Alena Blažejovská


3 thoughts on “THE MAN WHO PLANTS THE TREES – Alena Blažejovská – ČESKÝ ROZHLAS – Czech Republic


    Every item of this piece is extremely clear.
    Both the storytelling and the recording and the editing are bright.
    The apparently simple division into four chapters is actually the imitation of the rhythm of nature, punctuated by the four seasons and the passing of the years.
    The storytelling is supported by a definite soundscape that brings the listener to the environment and teaching of the forest, the main character of this feature

  2. Hello Alena!

    So good to know that people like Jiří could be heard on the airwaves or through other media distribution channels. Not as instantly captivating as true crime, etc but equally important for our sense of balance. Or even more. I would really really like to know the origins of the story – how did you met Jiří, was it him who suggested recording outside, what did your editor said on this, was it difficult to persuade the radio bosses to have an nearly hour-long slot for that kind of radio? Speaking of a broadcast schedule – what programme preceded this one, and what followed right after this? If that was available as a podcast – was it more popular among the rural or urban audience? Many thanks!

    1. Hi Vladimir,
      Thank you for the kindness and understanding you have for my documentary.
      When I first met Jiří, I didn´t know he works as a forester. For me, he was a poet, musician and singer – as I saw him at first performing with his band at an exhibition. I work as a programme editor for the Czech Radio, I do Audiobooks, work with literary texts as well as investigative texts, but my love is poetry and music – so I loved his performance. Then I found out Jiří was also a forester and I was fascinated.
      Along with Audiobooks, cultural magazines and poetry, I have also been dealing with environmental issues for a long time. When I met Jiří, all of these topics got connected somehow – Jiří is a forester in the woods, where an extremely interesting woman used to live – a philosopher and writer Anna Pammrová (1860 – 1945). Anna was a forerunner of the environmental movement in the Czech Republic.
      Therefore, I had many reasons to be interested in Jiří´s story. First, I recorded several short reports with him for the magazine I create for the Czech radio. These interviews were mainly about the restoration of springs in the woods, the restoration of chapels in the countryside and so on. When I got to know Jiří better, I asked him if he would like to make a documentary about the forest. I already knew his approach to the forest and life in general. So it was me who approached him with the idea of recording in the woods. And we became to be friends.
      The editor (or dramaturge/commission director if you like) of this programme Viola Ježková trusted me completely because she already knew many of my previous documentaries. Although this one is completely different.
      The documentary was broadcasted on the Czech Radio on the station called Vltava, which is more art engaged. They have a one-hour long slot for features on Vltava and they focus mainly on programmes about literature, music and culture.
      The listeners enjoyed the piece very much (which I am really glad). Actually, the documentary won 2nd place at the Czech Radio Documentary Competition REPORT. Also, many of my friends who live in the cities called me to say that they had listened to the show over and over again because in their mind, it transfers them to the forest. They say that thanks to the sound of this feature, they can travel to nature. And Jiří also received a good response from the audience. A lot of people called Jiří and asked him for advice about forestry. He was also asked to throw lectures about the forest. He laughed and said that he doesn´t need to work hard anymore – he could just talk about the forest for living and it seems that it would be enough. But although people are really interested in his stories about forest and they want him to be their “forest guru”, he doesn´t want that. He is very modest and his home is among the trees. He can´t leave the forest. 🙂

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