We highly recommend these films for anyone interested in sustainable farming and ranching.
GMO OMG director and concerned father Jeremy Seifert is in search of answers. How do GMOs affect our children, the health of our planet, and our freedom of choice? And perhaps the ultimate question, which Seifert tests himself: is it even possible to reject the food system currently in place, or have we lost something we can’t gain back? These and other questions take Seifert on a journey from his family’s table to Haiti, Paris, Norway, and the lobby of agra-giant Monsanto, from which he is unceremoniously ejected. Along the way we gain insight into a question that is of growing concern to citizens the world over: what’s on your plate?
WHO GOES TO WAR… WHO COMES HOME
Since 2001 over 280,000 women have been sent to the Middle East to serve in the War on Terror. Often traumatized by their experiences, many return home with PTSD, unable to cope with the daily rigors of life. Terra Firma weaves together the stories of three women veterans who were among the first to deploy, serving in Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq.
After years of struggling, each has found ways to heal the hidden wounds of war through farming. The film follows the women as they go about their daily lives, reflecting on their time spent in the military, the impact of war on their lives and their newfound peace of mind, finding that farming gives them purpose and a new way to serve their country by growing food for their communities.
SUCK IT UP AND FARM!
FRESH began as a grassroots effort for a grassroots movement, and it’s been tremendously exciting to see the movie spread like wildfire. Within a month of our launch in April 2009, we received over 20,000 visitors and hundreds of screenings were organized. Today, FRESH is a community of over 100,000 advocates for healthier, more sustainable food, a film that’s used all over the world as a platform to raise awareness and connect people to solutions in their community. But that’s not good enough.
We want to make fresh food on every plate the norm, not the exception. We want to reach 1 million people: gardeners, doctors, politicians, teachers, eaters. Not just because that would be a nice boost to our ego (mine especially!), but because we believe that FRESH can truly help get us to a tipping point, when sustainable food will no longer be just a niche market.
A father’s search to find the healthiest building materials leads him to the completion of the nation’s first hemp house. Hemp with lime is a non-toxic, energy efficient, mildew, fire and pest resistant building material. The drawback — although research is legal in some states, hemp remains off-limits to almost all U.S. farmers. Industrial hemp is a non-psychoactive plant, grown in 31 other countries that makes 1,000′s of sustainable products and offers solutions for global warming, nutrition, poverty and deforestation. Here in the U.S., hemp could be a money-making crop for farmers and create jobs. But why can’t we grow it here? BRINGING IT HOME tells the story of hemp: past, present and future and a global industry that includes textiles, building materials, food products, bio-plastics, auto parts and more.
With the death of his father during the late 60s, a teenaged John takes over the traditional family farm, slowly turning it into an experiment of art and agriculture, making it a haven for hippies, radicals and artists. The Real Dirt on Farmer Johncharts the end of this idealistic era as the farm debt crisis of the 80’s brings about the tragic collapse of the farm.
As the intricate weave of rural America unravels, vicious local rumors turn John into a scapegoat, condemning him as a Satan-worshipping drug-dealer. Threatened with murder, his home burned to the ground, John forsakes his farm and wanders through Mexico, where he is transformed by the soulfulness and pageantry of this ancient land. Mysteriously, his quest leads him back to his hostile homeland.
Defying all odds, he gradually transforms his land into a revolutionary farming community, a cultural mecca, where people work and flourish providing fresh vegetables and herbs to thousands of people every week.
Mad City Chickens is a sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical look at the people who keep urban chickens in their backyards. From experts and authors to a rescued landfill chicken or an inexperienced family that takes the poultry plunge—it’s a humorous and heartfelt trip through the world of backyard chickendom.
One Man, One Cow, One Planet follows Peter Proctor, New Zealand’s father of biodynamics along the back roads of rural India, revealing the miracle of organics and the farmers who are reclaiming their agricultural heritage.
Árpád Pusztai and Ignacio Chapela have two things in common. They are distinguished scientists, and their careers lie in ruins. Both chose to investigate the phenomenon of genetic engineering. Both made important discoveries. Both are now suffering the fate of those who criticise the powerful vested interests that dominate big business and scientific research. Statements made by scientists themselves suggest that 95% of those researching in the area of genetic engineering are funded to do so by industry. Only 5% are independent. This situation presents a major threat to the freedom of science – and to our democracy. Can we, the public, still trust our scientists?
Drawing from ancient knowledge and cutting edge science, Symphony of the Soil is an artistic exploration of the miraculous substance soil. By understanding the elaborate relationships and mutuality between soil, water, the atmosphere, plants and animals, we come to appreciate the complex and dynamic nature of this precious resource. The film also examines our human relationship with soil, the use and misuse of soil in agriculture, deforestation and development, and the latest scientific research on soil’s key role in ameliorating the most challenging environmental issues of our time. Filmed on four continents, featuring esteemed scientists and working farmers and ranchers, Symphony of the Soil is an intriguing presentation that highlights possibilities of healthy soil creating healthy plants creating healthy humans living on a healthy planet.
DIRT! The Movie–directed and produced by Bill Benenson and Gene Rosow–takes you inside the wonders of the soil. It tells the story of Earth’s most valuable and underappreciated source of fertility–from its miraculous beginning to its crippling degradation.
The opening scenes of the film dive into the wonderment of the soil. Made from the same elements as the stars, plants and animals, and us, “dirt is very much alive.” Though, in modern industrial pursuits and clamor for both profit and natural resources, our human connection to and respect for soil has been disrupted. “Drought, climate change, even war are all directly related to the way we are treating dirt.”
DIRT! The Movie–narrated by Jaime Lee Curtis–brings to life the environmental, economic, social and political impact that the soil has. It shares the stories of experts from all over the world who study and are able to harness the beauty and power of a respectful and mutually beneficial relationship with soil.
DIRT! The Movie is simply a movie about dirt. The real change lies in our notion of what dirt is. The movie teaches us: “When humans arrived 2 million years ago, everything changed for dirt. And from that moment on, the fate of dirt and humans has been intimately linked.” But more than the film and the lessons that it teaches, DIRT! The Movie is a call to action.
In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government’s regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, herbicide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won’t go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli—the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults.
Featuring interviews with such experts as Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto) along with forward thinking social entrepreneurs like Stonyfield’s Gary Hirshberg and Polyface Farms’ Joel Salatin, Food, Inc. reveals surprising—and often shocking truths—about what we eat, how it’s produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here.
Since World War II North Americans have invested much of their newfound wealth in suburbia. It has promised a sense of space, affordability, family life and upward mobility. As the population of suburban sprawl has exploded in the past 50 years, so too has the suburban way of life become embedded in the American consciousness.
Suburbia, and all it promises, has become the American Dream.
But as we enter the 21st century, serious questions are beginning to emerge about the sustainability of this way of life. With brutal honesty and a touch of irony, The End of Suburbia explores the American Way of Life and its prospects as the planet approaches a critical era, as global demand for fossil fuels begins to outstrip supply. World Oil Peak and the inevitable decline of fossil fuels are upon us now, some scientists and policy makers argue in this documentary.
The consequences of inaction in the face of this global crisis are enormous. What does Oil Peak mean for North America? As energy prices skyrocket in the coming years, how will the populations of suburbia react to the collapse of their dream? Are today’s suburbs destined to become the slums of tomorrow? And what can be done NOW, individually and collectively, to avoid The End of Suburbia ?
When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990, Cuba’s economy went into a tailspin. With imports of oil cut by more than half – and food by 80 percent – people were desperate. This film tells of the hardships and struggles as well as the community and creativity of the Cuban people during this difficult time. Cubans share how they transitioned from a highly mechanized, industrial agricultural system to one using organic methods of farming and local, urban gardens. It is an unusual look into the Cuban culture during this economic crisis, which they call “The Special Period.” The film opens with a short history of Peak Oil, a term for the time in our history when world oil production will reach its all-time peak and begin to decline forever. Cuba, the only country that has faced such a crisis – the massive reduction of fossil fuels – is an example of options and hope.
With beautiful visuals and inspiring stories, the Nourish film traces our relationship to food from a global perspective to personal action steps. Nourish illustrates how food connects to such issues as biodiversity, climate change, public health, and social justice.
- Hosted and narrated by actress Cameron Diaz.
- Features interviews with best-selling author Michael Pollan, sustainable food advocate Anna Lappé, chef Bryant Terry, pediatrician Dr. Nadine Burke, and organic farmer Nigel Walker.
- A companion to the award-winning PBS special
- Power Shift: Energy + Sustainability.
The local food movement takes root.
American food is in a state of crisis, but a movement to put good food back on the table is emerging. What began 30 years ago with chefs demanding better flavor, has inspired consumers to seek relationships with nearby farmers. This is local food.
A campaign to promote sustainable food choices.
from the Sierra Club National Sustainable Consumption Committee.
We, the consumers, through our food choices, can stop the practices that harm our health, our planet, and our quality of life.