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Dirt! The Movie (2009)

Jamie Lee Curtis , Bill Benenson , Gene Rosow  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jamie Lee Curtis
  • Directors: Bill Benenson, Gene Rosow
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: April 6, 2010
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00366E1AK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,702 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dirt! The Movie" on IMDb

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

DIRT! THE MOVIE is an astonishing, humorous and substantial look at the glorious and unappreciated ground beneath our feet.

Dirt feeds us and gives us shelter. Dirt holds and cleans our water. Dirt heals us and makes us beautiful. Dirt regulates the earth s climate. Why do we humans ignore, abuse, and destroy our most precious living natural resource? Consider the results of such behavior: Mass starvation, drought, floods and global warming.

Narrated by Jamie Lee Curtis, DIRT! THE MOVIE tells the story of humans trying to re-connect to dirt the living skin of the earth. Traveling from the vineyards of California to the plains of Kenya, DIRT! reveals how repairing our relationship with dirt can create new possibilities for all life on earth.

Amazon.com

We're talking dirt! Not soil, not earth, not loam, not dust, just plain old dirt, which this lively and enlightening documentary asserts is the planet's protective skin that contains all those other things, but also a whole bunch more. In fact, Dirt! The Movie was inspired by Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth by William Bryant Logan, a book whose title pretty much describes the movie's narrative course in explaining how the dirt we use for good or ill, whether in the service of spoilage or manipulation, is a much more delicate and essential bio-resource than many of us thought. There's a lot of information about dirt that gets tossed about, and it's bagged together with some lovely animation segments that are explanatory or allegorical. Unfortunately there's one animated misstep in the form of a cutesy little cartoon lump meant to anthropomorphize dirt as a whole and as its uncountable individual molecules too. But ignoring the doe-eyed dirt glob, the people and issues that are humanized with interview segments from a variety of folks who really know their dirt are truly revealing. Dirt! is a globetrotter too. We visit locations from Africa and India, to Los Angeles, Brazil, and the South Bronx. The gist is to show the bad ways we can and are destroying dirt, from strip-mining and mountaintop removal, to deforestation and continuing the agri-killing practice of monoculture--growing only one crop over and over again across huge areas of land (dirt). The evidence that monoculture caused the dust bowl has only vaguely been taken to heart, and the message that dirt heals the earth is still widely ignored. A couple in Brazil talk about the correlation between human degradation and environmental degradation, which the film glaringly documents in other places like India, where farmer suicides occur regularly because the dirt is going away. There's also Andy Lipkis, celebrity dirt lover and founder of the environmental organization TreePeople, who explains how the same dirt has been around since forever and it's the only dirt we're ever going to have. To demonstrate dirt's critical function on all levels, even as purifier of our ancient and similarly endangered water supply, Lipkis takes a sip and says, "I just drank dinosaur pee." Dirt! The Movie is similarly forthright and illuminating about why we shouldn't just kick dirt around anymore. --Ted Fry

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
61 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring! April 5, 2010
Format:DVD
I saw this film during Docuweeks in Los Angeles about a year ago. It inspired me beyond words, into action.

I found this film to have a broad range of views on varying topics having to do with dirt: natural building, tree planting, edible schoolyards (and after watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, I am convinced that EVERY school needs a garden program!), mountaintop removal, mycology, energy, food, water, farming, composting, gardening....

I have since seen this film NUMEROUS times and I highly recommend it. While it does touch on some serious topics, it is not a heavy documentary that requires a barf bag (thanks, Cove) or a prescription for Lexapro. It is informative, general, entertaining and inspiring. AND it has a great soundtrack from KCRW's highly acclaimed Tom Schnabel.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not just playing in the dirt June 4, 2010
Format:DVD
The movie is adapted from Bill Logan's essays collected under the title "Dirt: the Ecstatic Skin of the Earth." In three parts, it explains the miraculous nature of soil, illustrates humanity's mismanagement of soil, and shows some hopeful approaches to better management. The talking heads are varied and interesting, and the photography wonderful. I found the coverage of soil mismanagement a little difficult to follow, even though it's not new to me. I'm planning to show my copy to a youth group at our church and will have to pause it there and explain things. By the end the movie gets a little redundant but the cumulative impact is very good.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dirt! Review May 18, 2010
By R. Daye
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Dirt! The movie takes a look at the importance of dirt in sustaining human life. In this era where we think a lot about water, it is good to also be looking at our impact on dirt.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring April 5, 2010
Format:DVD
I saw this film during Docuweeks in Los Angeles about a year ago. It inspired me beyond words, into action.

I found this film to have a broad range of views on varying topics having to do with dirt: natural building, tree planting, edible schoolyards (and after watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, I am convinced that EVERY school needs a garden program!), mountaintop removal, mycology, energy, food, water, farming, composting, gardening....

I have since seen this film NUMEROUS times and I highly recommend it. While it does touch on some serious topics, it is not a heavy documentary that requires a barf bag (thanks, Cove) or a prescription for Lexapro. It is informative, general, entertaining and inspiring. AND it has a great soundtrack from KCRW's highly acclaimed Tom Schnabel.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life... April 1, 2013
By NYFB
Format:DVD
I love gardening and the first thing that I learned was the importance of dirt, a happy and healthy dirt full of nutrients which brings joy to a happy garden and a healthy soil, especially when I have to spend time to cut all the green vegetables for every single meal that I consume. Roots in soil hold three times more carbon monoxide than the green above the soil, clean the air and give us food and beautiful nature. Without dirt there is no life on this planet, neither for us or the bugs or the animals and this documentary covers the importance of dirt. Bravo, bravo, bravo.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all time favorite documentaries! August 20, 2011
Format:DVD
This is one of my all time favorite documentaries, it is uplifting, beautiful, informative and moving. I have to confess that I cried at some point, but they were tears of appreciation and love for our beautiful Earth.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and transformative film March 16, 2011
Format:DVD
This film is truly a gem. It is an eye opener, a manifesto of love for our planet, a call to reconnect with dirt and where we come from.

Highly, highly recommended.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Note: this review was originally written for PRISM Magazine, published by Evangelicals for Social Action, and appears in the July/August 2011 issue.

There are all sorts of things you and I take for granted every day of our lives, but few are as basic or fundamental to our very existence as dirt. This is the basic premise of DIRT! The Movie, an 80-minute documentary film exploring the profound impact of soil on every sphere of society.

The film is narrated by Jamie Lee Curtis and features interviews with an Indian environmental activist, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, a wine connoisseur, an Austrian-born physicist, a professor of agroecology, and an array of others, all offering their unique perspectives on the irreplaceable significance of dirt in our lives.

To Christians, this should come as no surprise. In the second chapter of Genesis we read, "God formed Man out of dirt from the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life. The Man came alive--a living soul!" (The Message); indeed, even the name Adam means "dust." Yet too often we consider this mere poetry, thinking of dirt and dust more as nuisances to be avoided rather than the elemental sources of life our Creator God intended them to be.

Given the long-standing indifference and neglect dirt has endured in the public mind, one might expect a documentary of this sort to be, well, dry. It's anything but. While the interviewees have impressive credentials on their own merits, the creators of the film went to great lengths -- at times rather goofily so -- to make the film accessible and interesting.

If DIRT! The Movie makes one core contribution to the environmental conversation, it is in highlighting the symbiotic relationship between people and the land.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars watch this
A film that all humans should watch for a greater perspective on the reality of living on planet earth and the responsibility of that knowledge.
Published 4 days ago by Alec Gioseffi
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie, I used it for a college Environmental Studies class.
Published 13 days ago by deborah seaton
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific way to get people thinking about something they take ...
Terrific way to get people thinking about something they take for granted. (I'm glad I showed it to my college freshmen.)
Published 28 days ago by Judd L. Silverman
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
100 percent recommended
Published 1 month ago by Yuri
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I recommend it.
Published 2 months ago by Bruce W. Chenoweth
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Everyone should see this movie. It's inspirational.
Published 3 months ago by Sondra Sage
4.0 out of 5 stars but I'm glad I was required to view it
This movie was part of a credit class for me, but I'm glad I was required to view it.
Published 3 months ago by Heidi Horsman
5.0 out of 5 stars Good for science.
Excellent movie. Show it to my class.
Published 3 months ago by Ted Hoeffler
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent! Best film featuring soil ever...not sure if there is another :)
Published 3 months ago by CSheff
5.0 out of 5 stars Dirt!
great movie... we watch this one often...when you just want to chill and listen to Jamie Lee Curtis tell ya how it is on Earth. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Justice Galctica
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