Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Real Dirt on Farmer John

"My family has been plowing and planting every Spring for generations. I inherited this history and I just about ended the whole thing . . ."
-- Farmer John

Meet Farmer John, a man who will turn every idea you ever had about what it means to be an American farmer, or an American dreamer, on its head. Farmer John might sit on a tractor but he's also an outrageous artist, a maverick environmentalist, a homespun rebel, a pink-boa-wearing eccentric, a playful provocateur - and the incredible human being whose inspirational story of revolutionizing his family farm and redeeming his own life has won accolades and awards at film festivals around the world in THE REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN.

This lovingly handmade, grassroots epic has garnered fans even in the corridors of power, with former Vice President Al Gore calling it "unbelievably special," celebrity chef Alice Waters declaring it "a charming, wonderful and important movie" and master documentarian Albert Maysles describing the film as "genuinely beautiful . . . a cause for hope."

At once funny and stirring, what drives the film's powerful appeal is the way in which it digs up "real dirt" not only about the tragedy of losing our traditional American family farms but about what really makes for an original American life - one lived, on a man's own terms, in balance with the land, through hardships and unexpected triumphs, with creativity and verve.