Of trees and memories


Frédéric Back delighted generations of viewers with his film The Man Who Planted Trees. In memory of Mr. Back and to honour his cultural legacy, the Ville de Montréal paid tribute to the life and work of this great Montrealer.

Frédéric Back, who died in 2013, would have celebrated his 90th birthday in 2014. Socially committed all through his career, he made his mark on generations of audiences with The Man Who Planted Trees, a both poetic and philosophical film inspired by the cause of environmentalism. The film garnered over 40 awards at festivals across the globe, including an Oscar. It was also adapted into a horticultural exhibition in 2013, as the main attraction at the Mosaïcultures internationales de Montréal

In 2014, the large-scale ornamental structures were moved from the Botanical Garden to the foot of the Jacques-Cartier Bridge.

A giant man and his accompanying dog, both made of moss and leaves, were reconstructed to recreate the imagery of this filmmaker’s most loved film.

Born in 1924, Frédéric Back was an illustrator, painter, muralist and filmmaker. He passed away on December 24, 2013, leaving behind a rich artistic legacy endowed with humanism. A retrospective exhibition of his works was held at City Hall to retrace the milestones of Mr. Back’s career. Another tribute was held in his honour at the Maison symphonique de Montréal, with many public figures present.

Two film productions by Frédéric Back were awarded an Oscar: The Man Who Planted Trees and Crac!