Heartwood: the story of a deadly pathogen ravishing Southern Italy’s olive trees

Locavore Govanhill & Edinburgh
28/29 October 2022

Heartwood is the story of a farmer’s son on a mission to save his region’s olive trees from a deadly plant pathogen which has killed 20 million olive trees in Southern Italy. We hosted the Scottish premiere followed by a Q&A and olive oil tasting with the director, Stefano Petroni.

Locavore Govanhill screening

Heartwood tells the story of Agostino, a farmer's son on a mission to save his regions’ olive trees from a natural disaster. Xylella Fastidiosa is the most deadly pathogen known to mankind that has already infected and killed 20 millions of trees in Southern Italy with no sign of slowing down, having already reached France and Spain. The entire mediterranean olive production is at risk.

When Agostino learns that science is still searching for a cure, he decides to follow the disease back to its roots in Latin America and visit indigenous communities who have not yet lost their ability to listen to nature’s call.

Locavore Edinburgh screening

From the savannas of Brazil, the highlands of the Mayan Peninsula and the deserts of Colombia, Agostino chronicles the efforts of indigenous people to save their traditions and persevere in the face of climate change, while searching for a cure.

Little did he know that he himself would be infected with a mysterious and deadly disease, intertwining his own journey for a cure with that of the majestic trees that fed his ancestors for thousands of years. Will he be able to heal himself and find a way to save the trees?

Summary of the screenings and the comments made. Opinion on the olive oil? what did we taste? tapanade as well

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