The Real Dirt on Farmer John (University and College Educational Package)
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(Oct 08, 2009)
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Top Customer Reviews
This film is life-affirming in so many different ways, and such a visual and emotional treat. It speaks to many cultural and ethical issues, including of course to the issue of corporate vesrsus local, organic farming, our flagrant use of pesticides and herbicides, and oil-based nitrogen, etc.
It also speaks to the value of human artistic endeavors, to the unfortunate conservatism and closed-mindedness of many traditional farming communities, to the value of human diversity, and much more.
Let's just say that, if you decide to see this documentary, your own life will be reaffirmed and made more meaningful.
You get the idea you've stumbled into a different story when John Peterson, the focal point and protagonist of this little movie, is performing his work on farm machinery looking like Elton John if he had become a farmer. Flamboyantly dressed, we see a man with a colorful personality and an even more colorful past.
Since The Depression John's Scandinavian family obtained a farm in North Central Illinois where corn and hogs kept their existence simple, yet plentiful. After his father died when he was fairly young, John had to take over the farm with his mother's support and his uncle's inspiration. Determined, John like many other of his neighbors, fell upon hard times. Remembering Willie Nelson's initiatives with "Farm Aid" during the eighties, the film reminded me so much of those news reports that showed the farmer's existence being put to the way side. Like many effective documentaries, this film has home movies showing actual auctions as many American farmers lost their livelihood to real estate developers. The shift in America's agriculture is entirely accessible in this fun and informative little DVD.
Education was John's ace in the hole. He went to Beloit Community College during the hippie era and was able to recruit several friends who wanted the communal lifestyle. Artsy met earthy, and John offered a virtual paradise. Yet, differences often create suspicion, and John's neighbors started rumors that devastated him personally and financially.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Yep a journey indeed, thought provoking and very enjoyablePublished 8 months ago by Malcolmlonewolf
This is a very touhing and interesting tale. It has emotional appeal and a learning curve. You'll learn a little about what it takes to be a farmer, and see the hardships that one... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Lenton K. Goforth
Too true! Being a farmer is so hard and finding a way too support a family means thinking out of the box. John does thatPublished 12 months ago by Cindy Ann
Disappointing. It's more about a man trying to find his artistic self than about farming. I didn't find anything to like about it, except John's mom.Published 15 months ago by josie
The trailer for this doc is completely misleading. It isn't a story about farming or CSA or the transformation of American agriculture. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Adam M. Blaney
I bought this DVD to show to my horticulture students. It was very enjoyable and informative, but with the nude hippie girl dancing in the garden I could not show it to my... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Jeri Taylor