Vermont Filmmaker Explores Positive Influence of Nature

Vermont Filmmaker Explores Positive Influence of Nature
When the movie hits public television screens next year, rush inside to catch Burlington filmmaker Camilla Rockwell’s new documentary, “Mother Nature’s Child.”

Meanwhile, she advises you to tarry out-of-doors.

Rockwell’s film explores how time spent in nature influences child health and development — and suggests ways adults can revive our young’uns’ appetites for mud-pies, tree-climbing, skipping stones and the like.

Last week, in the comfy confines of her South End studio, Rockwell elaborated on the inspiration for her latest project and its connections to her earlier films (and those of noted documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, a mentor).

No mechanized clutter of a cutting room here: “Mother Nature’s Child,” still in the editing stages, resides on two external computer hard drives.

But an eight-minute trailer for the film offers glimpses of youngsters’ lives beyond pixelation, beyond virtual, beyond the parking lot.

They paddle some pretty rough stretches of river; they balance on logs; they build forts and plant their first flowers.

Free Press: Did your upbringing include plenty of outdoor adventures?

Camilla Rockwell: I grew up in the Rochester, New York, city limits. Throughout my early childhood my mom told me to stay outside all afternoon until it was time for dinner.

We had a fenced yard, and I remember every tree having its own personality. We used the smallest patch of woods on an undeveloped plot on the street to make forts. Then two houses went up, and…
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