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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Nature > Plants > Water > Ecosystem > Environment > Science > Geology > Food > Politics > Dirt! – The Movie (2009/Docurama DVD)

Dirt! – The Movie (2009/Docurama DVD)


Picture: C+     Sound: C     Extras: B     Documentary: B



In a continuing cycle of key documentaries journalistically recording the damage to the environment, the Bill Benenson/Gene Roson documentary Dirt! The Movie (2009) starts out being jokey and amusing in a way that almost sabotages the whole thing, but then it settles down and turns into an excellent look at a crisis situation in the making that can be avoided and changed with the proper action, attention and rethinking.


Mining, greed and debasing land for no good reason is taking away the very title substance we need to grow food and sustain life worldwide.  Besides global warming and increasing food shortages worldwide, not to mention the upcoming water problem on the way, trees that hold dirt are being stripped away and paper products (among other things) are being made at record paces, even with recycling.


Jamie Lee Curtis does an excellent job of narrating the rich 80 minutes long program in some of her best work in years (she is semi-retired) making the vital points necessary that enhance the great plethora of interviews with experts and other authoritative persons featured throughout a program that could have gone on even longer.  Because we live in a society that is talks about being “clean”, that actually becomes a denaturing metaphor in which we are being brainwashed to avoid dirt and hate dirt to the point that we can pretend to be comfortably ignorant of the world around us and accept the unnatural as natural.  Now the unnatural route is causing serous damage, some of which may be permanent.


When all was said and done, another issue came to mind.  That of genetically engineered food.  We are told (as U.S. corporations told Africa when the European Union was rejecting Frankenfoods) that the only way to feed people in the future is by such phony, even dangerous food production.  The excuse is overpopulation, but once again, it seems an artificially created crisis to sell junky food (see Food, Inc.) that you used to always be able to assume was healthy.  If the farming fields were not being ruined by industry, the same kind of industry that wants to sell genetically modified foods instead of healthy foods, such fake food would not be as needed to begin with and millions of lives could be healthier in what they eat.  Guess that is another documentary, but the kind of great point you can get as an aside of the fine work here.


When farmers are committing suicide because corporations are ruining them with bizarre financial debt just to get their land and even ruin it, you know something very wrong is going on here.  See this film!


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is mostly new footage shot in what look like High Definition video.  The result is some motion blur, aliasing errors and minor flaws, but is very watchable otherwise.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 sound is barely stereo and at a surprisingly lower volume level than expected, so be careful of playback volumes and volume switching.  Extras include a trailer, text filmmaker bios, Extended Animations, Bonus Scenes and Extended Interviews all worth seeing.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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