Fungi: Web of Life review – Björk and Merlin Sheldrake guide trippy mushroom doc

Beginner’s guide to the wrap-your-brain-around-them facts of mycological science boosts the wonder with 3D time-lapse photography

If you’ve got “face of fungi” biologist Merlin Sheldrake’s global bestseller Entangled Life on your bookshelf, unbattered and spine uncracked, this documentary might feel like an easier option. A beginner’s guide to fungi, just 40 minutes long, it is narrated by Björk and presented by the gently eccentric Sheldrake (imagine Timothée Chalamet playing a Cambridge academic, with a mop of unruly curls). It’s being released in 3D on the giant screen at London’s BFI Imax – all the better to gawp at Steve Axford’s trippy time-lapse photography of strange, wondrous and beautiful fungi.

Like Sheldrake’s book, the film is on a mission to change the way we look at fungi – and the world. Fungi made life possible on Earth, and virtually all trees – and 90% of plants – rely on fungus to survive. The vast underground networks of fungi that provide trees with nutrients – the “wood wide web” – are dazzlingly visualised here. Fungus is a miracle worker too: giving us life-saving medicines and decomposing organic matter. (Without fungi, forests would be tree-deep in animal carcasses.)

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