Our mothers washed it off us when we were children. We were fascinated with the stuff – we played in it, threw it, rolled in it, ate it. (Come on, you know you tried it.) Dirt. It’s everywhere and except for when it finds its way to the sides of our freshly washed cars or is traipsed across the living room carpet, we pretty much ignore it. But why? And what makes dirt so special, so necessary to our survival as human beings and as a planet in general? “Dirt! The Movie,” its DVD on sale April 6th, 2010, explores these questions and more.
Initially I wasn’t sure what would make a movie about dirt so fascinating. As a studier of herbalism, I do spend my fair share of time in the stuff, so perhaps that was the catch. I wanted to find out more about the soil in which so many of my favorite plants make their homes. “Dirt!” lets you in on something you may never have considered before: dirt is very much alive. It’s teeming with important microorganisms, all the things that make life, life. Without healthy soil, we can’t grow food, and we know what happens when we can’t eat. But unfortunately, it seems we humans have been neglecting the very stuff we’re made of. Erosion, pollution, and monoculture all contribute to the decline in our soil’s health. Global repercussions for our carelessness are becoming more and more apparent as many countries are losing their ability to farm the land.
But the good news is, much is being done to restore our connection to the earth and to the dirt with which it’s made. “Dirt!” covers all the positive steps many people and organizations are making to clean things up a bit in respect to the ground. Traveling the globe, this documentary gives viewers a chance to think about the much-overlooked earth beneath our feet, providing excellent information, good humor, and an overall positive message that will inspire and motivate.
Narrated by Jamie Lee Curtis, “Dirt! The Movie” was an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival and was winner of the best documentary at the Visions Voices Environmental Film Festival. It also won Best Film for Our Future at the Mendocino Film Festival and the Best Green Documentary at the Maui Film Festival.