Documentary probes relation between bees and people

Staff reports

On Jan. 14, the Movies that Matter film series continues at the White Horse Black Mountain with the nature documentary “Wings of Life.” The series screens thought-provoking films that have not received wide release, movies that engage viewers with nuanced looks at complex social issues in the modern world.

The 2011 Disneynature studio release from French-American director Louis Schwartzberg beautifully displays the intricate interdependence of flowers and winged pollinators, including bees, butterflies, birds and bats and their crucial importance to the chain of life on the planet.

Black Mountain volunteers have done significant work around town to establish pollinator “way stations” and other areas that provide food and rest for pollinators in transit and at home.

Alternately titled “Pollen” in France and “Hidden Beauty: A Love Story That Feeds the Earth” in England, “Wings of Life” is as visually poetic as its message, narrated by Meryl Streep, is urgent. The film frames the relationship between plants and pollinators as a seductive dance, one on which one third of food crops and the entire global food chain depend. Many of these “unsung hero” species are threatened by loss of habitat, climate change and pesticides, and “Wings of Life” underscores that the future of humanity is dependent on protecting and preserving them.

Following the movie a discussion will be hosted led by series curator Katie Kasben, an Asheville-area storyteller who says that she “strives to be a bridge between current culture and ancient wisdom.” A teacher, singer, actress, writer, director and event planner, she was instrumental in bringing the 48 Hour Film Project to Asheville.

On a wing and a prayer

What: “Wings of Life”

When: 7 p.m. Jan. 14

Where: White Horse Black Mountain

Cost: $6