"Our big farm" at the cinema

"Our big farm" at the cinema

Many dream of living a life in harmony with nature. John and Molly Chester of Los Angeles have realized this dream and built a farm on which they operate a traditional agriculture without pesticides. And because John Chester is an award-winning documentary filmmaker at the Emmy Awards, he filmed the eight-year process needed to turn a dead land into a fertile paradise. The result is the award-winning documentary "Our Big Little Farm".

In a small rental apartment in Los Angeles, John and Molly Chester, a young couple – food bloggers, animal filmmakers – were dreaming of their own little illustrated book farm, where they needed everything Molly needed to get the job done. prepare healthy foods. Use of fertilizer, could grow.

The decisive impetus to realize this dream was given by her scared dog, Todd, whom she had just sought out from a farmer's claws and whose barking provoked the wrath of the neighbors. Soon it was said for the breasts: apartment or dog. They chose Todd.

Pandora's box

Crowdfunding would allow both parties to raise enough money to buy 80 hectares of land on the outskirts of Los Angeles. But Apricot Lane Farm – the romantic name – was a dead desert, drained by years of monoculture, John Chester said: "The soil was dead, but we thought that with the help of the forces of nature We could do it in no time, it was incredibly naive, we did not know we had just opened Pandora's rifle. "

The forces of nature needed a tutoring and a guardian found the Chesters at Alan York, an expert in traditional agriculture, who advised them to rely on biodiversity to breed microorganisms and animals such as cattle, sheep, chickens and pigs to fertilize the soil. to the purchase.

One step forward, two back

But each small success led to setbacks, the birds ate the fruits, the coyotes, the chickens, the snails, the plants, the rest undergoing climate change with storms, droughts and floods. But the Chesters, Americans from start to finish, did not give up.

"These were the eight most difficult years of my life," says John Chester, "which I do not want to repeat, but I do not want to miss them, it was an incredible experience and a burden – in every respect , and the camera has always been like that over the years ran a bit. "

Without love, no commitment

For an hour and a half, the eight years are together, creating a dense sequence of emotions and tensions. Animal actors, such as Emma Pig or Rooster, Mr. Greasy, professional nature studies and the music of Jeff Beal (the composer of "House of Cards") contribute to the emotion of the film – in passing deliberately with a little pathetic. sets.

"We must give people the opportunity to fall in love with the earth, to be really moved, because without this emotion, the incentive to try to save or understand them is weak, not fear or fear. pressure that will change our behavior, it Affection and love, out of responsibility. "

The declaration of love to nature seems to have succeeded. After the release of the film the previous year, the Apricot Lane Farm, on which many volunteers also work, is invaded by international guests who can participate in workshops and guided tours. A cinematographic seed that has grown.