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The Fir Tree

Sun Dec 22, 8.30-9pm, BBC4

A half-hour film, from the perspective of a fir tree, narrated in Danish? It’s a given that BBC4’s subtitled offering doesn’t sound like your usual yuletide viewing fodder – but bear with it. This beautifully photographed story is strange, but also meditative and affecting. As it grows from a cone, to a sapling, to a juvenile tree, the viewer sees – and feels – as the tree would. There are curious, caring children, pragmatic adults, passing wildlife, and snowflakes that tickle.

The proud but naïve fir considers itself the best, a belief confirmed when it leaves the forest for a sitting room to be admired and adorned with baubles. But after the festivities, it’s inevitably left outside to… Well, we all know what happens to used-up Christmas trees.

Inspired by a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale (a man whose apocryphal yarns never ducked uncomfortable human truths), this is a short, hypnotic commune with nature that, for those of us prone to guilt, will make us question the arrogance of our throw-away culture.