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July 9, 2021 - 

Kiss the Ground is a documentary about the climate crisis, dialing in on the very basest of elements: the dirt beneath our feet. This film is narrated by Woody Harrelson, which might come as a surprise to those who know him as an actor. But as someone who has lived a vegan lifestyle for over 30 years, Harrelson’s endorsement of this film and its proposals is appropriate.

The documentary focuses on the science that supports the possibility for and the regenerative capability of soil. Kiss the Ground proposes that a ‘grassroots’ change in our global treatment of the soil can lead to the carbon ‘drawdown’ needed to shift the trajectory of the climate crisis.

The perspective is global, taking us from the rejuvenated Loess Plateaus of China back to the USA. From a regenerative soil rancher in North Dakota to a family farming in Washington state, the viewer is asked to consider “what if.” What if we made these changes in how we respect and treat the soil? What if it might be this simple?  

The film focuses on the need for good and careful science, which takes time and detail. The role of education is also important as farmers are invited to rethink the more recent industrial and production-driven ways of farming.

But even within that context there are ways for naturally regenerating the soil. Testimonials as well as challenges are put forward by working farmers who have engaged the change with hope, success, and credibility. Ultimately the film is not so much a quick solution to stop climate change in its tracks as it is a place for good and serious consideration and conversation.

Most of us do not get our hands dirty growing our own food. We fail to experience how alive the soil must be in order to produce the food we eat. “The truth is, I had given up,” Harrelson says. “But this story is a simple solution. It is a way to heal our planet, and the solution is as old as dirt.” 

This film is recommended as an excellent resource within an educational context for schools or for church and community discussions. (Netflix)

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