Cultivating the Wild: William Bartram’s Travels, A Documentary

“Cultivating the Wild” is a short (56 minutes 45 seconds) documentary that highlights a group of six environmentalists or, as the film calls them, “modern-day Bartrams.” Roughly following the path detailed by William Bartram in his world-famous book, Travels…, the film tells of the different ways in which these nature enthusiasts connect themselves to the environment around them. Some notable people featured are the ornithologist Drew Lanham; the landscape painter Philip Juras; and the retired riverkeeper James Holland. “Cultivating the Wild” strives to show the devastating effects of humanity on the environment as well as spark hope in the viewer through the stories of these “modern-day Bartrams.”

The film was first released in late 2019 by Eric Breitenbach (director), Scott Auerbach (director of photography), and Dorinda G. Dallmayer (writer), and has been broadcast across the country on public television beginning in 2020. It is currently free and available to view via the South Carolina ETV website. Also available is a review/interview of the documentary by Doug Carlson and Dorinda G. Dallmayer in The Georgia Review. Links to both the film and the review can be found below.

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