Saturday, October 24, 2009

KPBS Special

The Botany of Desire

Wednesday, Oct. 28, 8 p.m.


A documentary film by Michael Schwarz

- based on the book by Michael Pollen

The apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato are the stars of the film adaptation of journalist Michael Pollan's best-selling book, The Botany of Desire. The two-hour documentary, which takes the same name, also features Pollan himself. It begins in the author's own home garden before the film journeys to the apple orchards of Kazakhstan, the tulip markets of Amsterdam, a medical marijuana hot house and the potato fields of South America. These four famous plants share histories with corresponding human desires-for sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control over food production. The developmental relationship between human beings and the plants is what Pollan calls "the botany of desire." In this coevolution, Pollan argues, human beings are as controlled as in control. "It makes just as much sense to think of agriculture as something the grasses did to people as a way to conquer the trees," he writes.

A professor at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, Michael Pollan is a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine and the author of many books. Producer and director of The Botany of Desire, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, and The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, which was named one of the 10 best books of 2006 by The New York Times and The Washington Post. It won the California Book Award, the Northern California Book Award, and the James Beard Award for Best Food Writing and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Pollan is also the author of A Place of My OwnSecond Nature. and

Michael Schwarz has produced numerous documentary films and won several Emmy awards for his work.

Visit the PBS Botany of Desire website for complete details, video downloads, and more.