Metz is a city in the northeast of France, Le Grand Est, capital of the Lorraine region, and one that I had never visited before last weekend. It sits alongside the winding Moselle river and is surprisingly inspiring.
I was in town because my husband, Michel Noll, was inaugurating a film festival. The festival, titled Ma Planete, is dedicated entirely to films which, from one aspect or another, are concerned with the environment.
Why Metz? I had asked him.
Jean-Marie Pelt, was his answer.
Jean-Marie Pelt was a highly respected biologist, botanist and ecologist. He was professor at the University of Lorraine specialising in medicinal plants and traditional pharmacopeia. He was the author of several books on pharmaceutical plants, plant biology and urban ecology, and was the founder in 1972 of the European Institute of Ecology and in 1987 founded the French Society of Ethnopharmacology, which is based in Metz. http://www.ethnopharmacologia.org
Michel worked with Professor Pelt on a television series, Les Aventures des Plantes. They were in the early stages of a follow-up series when Pelt died. This festival, Ma Planete, is in its way a continuation of the work Michel and Pelt were collaborating on. It is also a homage to his brilliant and much-missed colleague.