THE NATURALIST (2001)

“The film unfolds like a long walk through the woods, to show the remarkable depth of this strange man’s knowledge, and his obsession with living things, from the birds that he calls up, to the tiny insects and the mosses beneath the log he sits on to rest at the end of the day. THE NATURALIST is the story of a man, but its larger story is that of that rare creature, the inhabitant, intimate with all that is around it, deeply entrenched, thoroughly dangerous to modern notions of carelessness and frenzied mobility.”  Mountain Gazette  

“THE NATURALIST glistens through beautiful nature cinematography and a compelling look at the life of one man dedicated to observing and preserving the natural world around him.  It’s proof that a documentary can be both serious and entertaining.” Herald-Times

“Kent Bonar has been described as the John Muir or Aldo Leopold of our time. He lives with his hunting dogs in the Ozarks devoting himself to describing and studying the biota of his surroundings. His philosophy is the main subject of this documentary. The film quality and cinematography are excellent, and watching it was a peaceful and refreshing experience. It may serve to begin discussions about environmentalism, or the importance of not only taking inventory of organisms, but also studying how those organisms interact with one another.” Educational Media Reviews Online

“Through his lens, Hawes-Davis unveils the jaw-dropping depth and breadth of Bonar’s factual knowledge and reveals the man’s wisdom, as Bonar espouses his philosophies on the essentiality of communion with nature.” All Movie Guide

“Hawes-Davis’s rendering of Ozark naturalist Kent Bonar brings nature at the landscape level alive and asks us to consider how we balance our pragmatic self interests with reverence for creation. The result is a fascinating, informative, thoughtful and personally challenging documentary.” Tom Roy, PhD. Director, Environmental Studies Program, University of Montana

“THE NATURALIST is a top quality documentary about a man who is a naturalist to every degree. This video documents the work and philosophies of this extraordinary woodsman. His name is Kent Bonar and except for the company of a couple dozen hound dogs, millions of plants and creatures on thousands of square miles of rugged, thickly forested hills, he lives and works almost exclusively alone.” North American Bowhunter

“Excellent…Kent Bonar’s knowledge of the Ozark biota is legendary. Described as the ‘John Muir of the Ozarks’ and a modern-day Thoreau, Bonar explores his bioregion with a precision and patience that is inspiring.”  Pulse

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