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ACOG Recommended Film: Dirt! The Movie


Be dirty…with Dirt! The movie

by Danielle Lee

While watching the movie Dirt, I came to realize that as an element, earth gets the least respect.  We are all aware of the power and intensity of fire. We know we have a limited amount of water and that it needs to be kept clean, as does our air.  After all, we don’t want to drink polluted water or breathe in polluted air.  What about our earth, though?  Its just dirt, why does it need to be taken care of?

The movie touches on topics such as microbial fuel cells, a great source of green energy, and the growing trend of roof gardens.  The film also spotlights many organizations such as The Land Institute, TreePeople, and Instituto Terra.   A very captivating moment in the documentary was when Wes Jackson, of The Land Institute, explained “Here’s this 120-year window in which we find ourselves and it’s probably the most important window in the history of homosapien.”

All the experts in the film full heartedly explain that the dirt is alive and needs to be cared for.  When land cannot sustain life, pesticides and nitrogen are implemented.  Pesticides kill nutrients so to make up for it nitrogen fertilizer is used.  However, only 20% of the fertilizer is absorbed by the plants.  The rest goes into streams that run out to the oceans and kill marine life.  Even nitrous oxide goes into the air and turns to greenhouse gases.

Another consequence of not caring for our dirt is that it affects large populations of people.  They have to leave their homes for new places to live.  This causes conflicts that have turned into wars.  We may believe that these conflicts are because groups or tribes of people don’t like each other, but what it usually turns out to be is lack of natural resources.

It’s a very interesting film, with a beautiful philosophy on caring for our planet and a cry to stop overlooking the importance of dirt.  Pierre Rabhi, a philosopher and an agroecologist, puts his personal connection of dirt into an enchanting light when he notes “At times, I am dirt’s father because I take care of it, at times dirt is my mother because she feeds me. We share a loving relationship.”

For more info about the film click on the link below.

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