Have you ever looked at mud stuck in your shoes or splashed on the back of your car and cursed it for making your belongings dirty? Watch this movie and I assure you it will change your mindset about this most valuable resource that sustains all life on Earth.
After watching the trailer, I looked whether I could find the entire movie online and was indeed able to find it on Youtube; it might be blocked for North America however in which case you can order the DVD on the movie homepage here.
The movie itself starts with an in-depth introduction of why dirt – or, if you prefer, soil – is so important for our survival (hint: without soil, there would be no food) and breaks down the biochemical processes nicely. There are also some cartoon illustrations that are pretty cute and lighten things up.
The second part of the movie then moves on to problematizing our current treatment of soils, touching on mining, monocropping, the use of pesticides, a good explanation of eutrophication, and erosion and land degradation in general. This is the only part that seemed a little sensationalist from time to time, for example when Indian farmer suicides were squarely blamed on the introduction of GM seeds in the country (here is an article with a little more balanced perspective) or when they mentioned food riots happening incessantly around the globe. However, the problems they mentioned are indeed huge challenges of our time,
I liked that the movie didn’t dwell on the problems for too long and rather dedicated the largest part of the film to solutions – agroecological methods, initiatives that replant forests, prisons that make their inmates work the land, schoolkids that break through the concrete in their playground to rediscover how to play in nature, and even how to light not only the metaphorical light bulb when it comes to dirt.
Finally, it ends on a very hopeful, heart-warming note that change is possible, and even if you think you are making an insignificant contribution overall, it’s doing the best you can that matters. This message actually ties in very well with yesterday’s post as well.
I’d really recommend watching it especially if you are only getting into the topic of permaculture and agroecological methods as an alternative to the industrial farming system. But even if you are quite up-to-date on these things, it’s a really enjoyable refresher and definitely drove the point home to me – dirt is life indeed.
Have you seen the movie already? How did you like it?