Symphony of the Soil is a 104-minute documentary feature film that explores the complexity and mystery of soil. Filmed on four continents and sharing the voices of some of the world’s most esteemed soil scientists, farmers and activists, the film portrays soil as a protagonist of our planetary story. Using a captivating mix of art and science, the film shows that soil is a complex living organism, the foundation of life on earth. Yet most people are soil-blind and “treat soil like dirt.” Through the knowledge and wisdom revealed in this film, we can come to respect, even revere, this miraculous substance, and appreciate that treating the soil right can help solve some of our most pressing environmental problems. In addition to the feature film, there are several short films, Sonatas of the Soil, that delve deeply into soil-related topics, and several short clips, Grace Notes, that are available to stream on the film’s website.
Bay Street Film Festival Monthly Documentary
Bay Street Film Festival’s monthly documentary screening program Docs On Bay presents Symphony of the Soil, on Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at 314 Bay Street, above The Hoito Restaurant. Tickets are $7 or pay what you can. Please note the earlier time to accommodate the Q&A with guest filmmaker, Deborah Koons Garcia from Lily Films in California.
Symphony of the Soil is the centrepiece in a multi-component film project by director, writer and producer, Deborah Koons Garcia. As a teenager and then as fine arts student at The San Francisco Art Institute in the ‘70’s she was environmentally aware, becoming a vegetarian and an advocate for the organic movement. Her films include All About Babies (1988), Poco Loco (1995) and Grateful Dawg (2000), about the musical collaborations of Jerry Garcia and David Grisman.
For the past 10 years, her film work has focused primarily on the global food system. Her internationally acclaimed 2004 film, The Future of Food helped bring issues of GMO’s to mainstream attention and inspired movements in organic agriculture in the USA. She’s created five short films, Sonatas of the Soil, that promote interest in the film project and provide in-depth information on specific topics such as dry farming, nitrogen, the Transition Movement, Biodynamic farming, composting, soil/water relationships, and carbon sequestration.
Dense, graceful and passionate, the 104-minute documentary, Symphony of the Soil is a portrait of the earth’s upper layer. Packed with information, the feature-length doc surveys four continents and connects with scientists, farmers, activists, policy makers, historians and entrepreneurs to show soil as a complex living organism.
Great documentaries plant ideas in the viewer’s mind. In our market-dominated, environmentally challenged and heavily populated world, food is a commodity. The volatility of the global food supply system means that we all have to be agents of change. Symphony of the Soil will motivate Thunder Bay’s film lovers, filmmakers, growers and gardeners to look at the ground beneath our feet.
Thanks to the Ontario Arts Council for funding support, Belluz Farms for screening support and, our Community Partner, CAHEP (Community Arts & Heritage Education Project).
Visit baystreetfilmfestival.ca for more information.