Listen: Movie Reviewer Laura Bennett chats to Katrina Roe
Reducing food waste, ‘sustainability’, and the elimination of single-use plastics are all noble practises that our world’s increasingly trying to adopt – but for these ideals to be embraced en masse, our lifestyles and systems of production have to change at a fundamental level.
In the new documentary, The Biggest Little Farm, filmmaker John Chester and his wife Molly take us into their journey of trying to make this utopia a reality.
Living in LA as a cameraman and caterer, the pair dream of having a sustainable farm that operates “in harmony with nature”. They see it filled with fruit trees, birds, bees, sheep and wildflowers, all coexisting in the way they were designed to. The problem is, they have zero experience in agriculture and no money, so for now it’s a pipedream.
Then, they adopt their rescue dog Todd and he doesn’t handle city life so well. The couple are forced to move out of their downtown apartment, and use the eviction as a catalyst for to finally take the leap.
For anyone who’s ever dreamed of a sea change, or to boldly step in the direction of social consciousness, The Biggest Little Farm is a sobering watch.
Being total newbies, John and Molly have to learn everything. From how to make soil healthy, to delivering a calf and protecting chicken from coyotes, it’s one problem after another as they try to find nature’s way of providing solutions to these problems.
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In contrast to other ‘food philosophy’ films that guilt you in to a new way of thinking, The Biggest Little Farm shows you the relatable experience of an ordinary couple striving to do a good thing, and the wins and losses along the way. It’s not the rosy brochure you give to aspiring environmentalists, and that’s exactly what makes it a must-watch movie.
For the Christian viewer, you’ll see that what John and Molly are trying to create is truly Eden-esque. While The Biggest Little Farm gives you an appreciation for nature, it gives you an even greater appreciation of God’s matchless ability to integrate all the elements of our ecosystem in a way that’s designed to serve each part of it perfectly.
The Biggest Little Farm is in select cinemas January 16.