Narrated by Jamie Lee Curtis, this celebration of our most underrated essential resource examines the dire consequences of the disappearance of topsoil, as well as humans’ efforts to re-connect to the living skin of our earth. DIRT! THE MOVIE tells the story of humans trying to reconnect 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. The documentary, arriving April 6th from docurama films, will come packed with extras as well as the documentary itself which has earned such quotations as “Thought Provoking!…welcome humor and visual pizzazz.” (Variety) and “An invigorating look at an invaluable substance we take for granted!” (Los Angeles Times).
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.
This documentary will educate you on things that you had possibly never considered, nor even came close to considering about the substance that we walk over every day. Some of it will interest you, catching you off-guard as it does so, but then other details tend to be carried on about far too often. This is a documentary, granted, and thus one should expect lots of dronish talking, but even in its moments where you are forced to stifle a yawn it still manages to drill into your skull the amazing properties of dirt…both in nature and in everyday household living.
The narration, provided by Jamie Lee Curtis, is particularly well done and as shocking as it is to me to say that dirt is interested…well, it just is. I don’t know how else to describe it—it’s an amazing substance and one we definitely take for granted. I learned about as much on this subject as I did about mushrooms in the Know Your Mushrooms documentary and similar to that I found out way more than anyone could possibly ever want to know on the subject. But as with that documentary, this one is presented in an easily accessible and friendly manner. There’s quite a bit of humor thrown in for good measure and while it can get a bit PBS-special like at times, it’s much closer to the quality of a documentary that was produced for the Discovery Channel than a public access station (not a knock against PBS, of course).
Dirt! The Movie will undoubtedly entertain you, even as you wonder why you’re watching such a thing to begin with. Perhaps you’re a documentary buff or it’s just a very, very dull Saturday night and this popped up somewhere along the way and you’re contemplating either watching this or your favorite movie for the six hundredth time. Well if you found this review because you are in such a situation at this very moment, then, please—keep watching. Jamie Lee Curtis rarely leads you wrong (Christmas with the Kranks notwithstanding…and I apologize for bringing that movie back into your conscious) and the producers behind this documentary did a more than adequate job piecing together the importance of dirt and the myriad of things it does for us that we don’t even realize. Upon a purely educational level this is a Highly Recommended outing. It may not “wow” you as much as some blockbuster summer film that you have in your pile to watch, but you can postpone that for 80 minutes while you delve into Dirt! The Movie to educate yourself (and anyone within your proximity)…right? Of course you can.
In keeping with its environmental theme, Dirt! The Movie comes packed in an eco-friendly digi-pak style case with a mere cardboard flap covering it. There are no inserts and, as the packaging states, it’s all due to the plastic tray being made from 100% Recycled Plastic (“with at least 35% Post Consumer Materials.”) which means there’s no little sleeve for a booklet or anything. Not that it needs one—the specs of this release straightforward enough, with a solid video transfer and a more-than-adequate (for a documentary) Dolby Digital Stereo soundtrack which provides crystal clear narration and commentary from those interviewed.
Extras are quite packed and include:
Extended Animations (5 minutes)
Bonus Scenes (33 minutes)
Extended Interviews (83 minutes)
Theatrical Trailer (2 minutes)
Yup…you’re reading that right. Between the three major sets of extras, you’re looking at over two hours worth of extras on this disc. Quite impressive for a documentary, but it’s really fantastic to see that the extra footage shot for the piece isn’t merely left on the cutting room floor. While some of it may not necessarily fit into the flow of the documentary itself, it’s all still very much worth checking out although the interviews are kind of out of place when you just watch them in no particular order.
Overall Dirt! The Movie is a Recommended disc to own. Even if you don’t end up keeping it, like almost all docurama films it’s worth picking up just to share with others down the road.
Dirt! The Movie arrives on DVD on April 6th.