Dirt, The Movie
Bill Benenson and Gene Rosow
Common Ground Media
Dirt starts off with a bang, literally. A large cosmic bang is not what I would expect in a movie about dirt, but I kind of like it. Eventually they get around to talking about dirt and soil. I personally make the distinction that soil is full of life and dirt is what’s left when you kill all of that life. One way to kill the soil is to subject it to monoculture for long periods of time. Even when done organically (USDA organic standards, that is) as it was in the Great Plains for several decades, the end result was a dust bowl. The main theme of the movie is the critical importance of healthy, living soil.
It would be interesting to see at least a summary of all the civilizations that have destroyed their soil and then died out, but they make no mention of that in the movie. They do mention cows a couple of times but cows don’t get the attention I think they deserve for their key role in building healthy soil. They also repeatedly annoy me with many references to climate change as if that is something new that hasn’t been going on for hundreds of thousands of years. These irritations made my thumb feel very heavy but the pyrotechnics were just good enough to give me the strength to barely hold my THUMB UP for this one.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Spring 2010.