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  • Writer's pictureGuy Jeffries

The Need To GROW

Featuring: Alicia Serratos, Erik Cutter, Michael Smith.

Narrated and Executive Produced by: Rosario Dawson.

Figuratively speaking, this feature length documentary goes to the very root of more than one serious environmental issue, we as a species are both inflicting and suffering upon ourselves and the planet. And whilst there’s great growth in awareness on these issues and everything relating to it, such as veganism and green energy, this truly and literally delves into the core matter at hand and makes perfect sense. Soil.

Whilst many of these green, animal and planet friendly documentaries come out and focus on Brillat-Savarin’s “We are what we eat” none of them actually discuss the very food of the plants themselves, making this documentary probably to most important of them all. Because if we can’t feed the very plants that provide us; or the animals; with the right food, how can we expect to reap the benefits; especially when switching to a plant based diet. Just when you think you’ve seen all the documentaries on green policy and healthy living, this is fresh crop, and a great crop at that!

The Food Revolution Network and writer, Rob Herring team up to give us an insightful look into what really feeds us by going literally to the very bottom of the food chain. It predominantly follows three entwined, personal stories of a young activist Alicia Serratos and her mother, Monica; a micro-farmer, Erik Cutter and genius Biochar pioneer and founder of Algae AquaCulture Technologies (AACT), Michael Smith. These are the key three among a number of other experts in their field that don’t necessarily point a finger of blame, but it certainly doesn’t shy away from the paradigm of the desire for big profit, high yields and wealth over the need of health, sustainability and the future.

We see how Monica and her daughter struggle to get noticed whilst trying to nurture a healthy passion in not just good food, but great food! We see Erik Cutter and his amazing micro farm, growing food that’s not only incredibly tasteful but is grown in the most unconventional environments; and then we meet the incredible Michael Smith, who’s story is not so dissimilar from Nikola Tesla’s in providing free, good energy. His invention, along with Erik’s vision and Alicia’s passion is both innovative and revolutionary; and is essentially the solution to not just climate change but to the entire ecosystem of the planet and ultimately. Us.

Rosario Dawson, beautifully narrates this neatly woven documentary. She also down as an executive producer. Ryan Wirick co-directs and it’s superbly paced; I could have happily watched beyond the 96min runtime. The story effortlessly flips between each character’s focus without losing its way or confusing the issue, even with the added snippets of wisdom from the other experts. There’s decent and creative infographics which complements the science and there’s also a good soundtrack that accompanies, with tracks from Will Connolly, Fleet Foxes and Sigur Rós; though C. A. Gabriel’s score, whilst good, is forgettable. But hey, that’s not the important issue here. It’s just a bonus that a documentary has a decent soundtrack/score.

I’m not green-fingered nor a wannabe horticulturist in any sense of the word. And if anyone said to me “regenerative agriculture” I would probably want to politely excuse myself from the conservation and make my exit. But when this film displays how we can reverse climate change and realign the balance, save water and eat healthier, nutrient enriched food, it’s impossible to ignore if you’re someone who cares about the planet and your own health. So, to those of you who do grow your own fruit and veg, firstly let me thank you but also suggest you watch this.

Now, you can, and should watch the film by clicking the link to the Food Revolution Network website. I was fortunate enough to have free access for a limited time but have since purchased the film in order to support the cause. There are also further products and packages that not only promote the film, but promote the very ideals the film talks about. Yes, it’s like a crowdfunding scheme but it’s one well worth getting behind and you get rewarded with a wealth of knowledge on how to make better food, and essentially a better world. What is also great about it, it’s something you can do at home. It’s not asking you to buy a different car or drastically change your diet, but actually save you money and eat better than before! After all, good plants, good food isn’t going grow by itself anymore.

This already award-winning film is both, equally inspiring and interesting. The film makes complete sense, closing the loop in the grand circle of life; being an education; this is a film that needs to be seen and shown as part of any curriculum. Quoting the film, “If your plan is for one year, plant rice. If your plan is for ten years, plant trees. If your plan is for 100 years, educate children.” And this is something that really resonates with me and should with everyone.

To get involved and watch the film you can go directly to the website and of course check out their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Running Time: 9

The Cast: 10

Performance: 10

Direction: 9

Story: 10

Script: 10

Creativity: 9

Soundtrack: 9

Job Description: 10

The Extra Bonus Points: 10 for exposing further light on real issues we people and the planet face.

96% 10/10

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