Vandana Shiva’s work is all about preserving the heritage and natural function of our planet, so when we saw trailers for the film DIRT! The Movie, we drew an instant connection. It turns out that Vandana is featured in the film (alongside another GreenHeroWangari Maathai), a documentary that tells a whole different story about the brown stuff under our feet.
This story is of Earth’s most valuable and underappreciated source of fertility–from its miraculous beginning to its crippling degradation.
But ultimately, the film is a call to act. Stating that “dirt is very much alive”, in spite of our industrial disconnect from it, the filmmakers and those they document understand that what we’ve destroyed, we can in fact heal. “The only remedy for disconnecting people from the natural world is connecting them to it again.” Producer/Director Gene Rosow shares his experience meeting Vandana Shiva in the making of the film.
“VANDANA SHIVA: THE SOUL OF SOIL – NOT OIL.”
BY GENE ROSOW
Nearly every time I’ve screened DIRT! The Movie with an audience – more than 50 times – people ask or comment about Vandana Shiva. She is a “Green Hero” and a “Brown Hero” as far as soil is concerned, and clearly a star of the film. People are inspired by her intelligence, activism and tireless work to bring about a sustainable future.
In preparing the film which is inspired by William Bryant Logan’s wonderful book Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth, I searched for a wide range of subjects in order to be as inclusive as possible in terms of gender, culture, geography, and knowledgeable perspectives.
When I discovered a quantum physicist who expressed a profound spiritual connection to the land, I knew Dr. Shiva could play an important role in the film. I was impressed by the depth and clarity of her ideas as well as her skills and determination to organize people towards bringing about a sustainable future.
Happily, when I met her to request that she appear in a film about dirt, she agreed with enthusiasm, humor and an outpouring of amazing suggestions about subjects and locations in India; these indeed became the basis for filming there.
Each location she suggested offered a powerful story and stunning visuals: From tropical Kerala in the South to Vandana Shiva’s Navdanya institute nestled into the foothills leading to the Himalayas. Wherever we filmed, she was a blur of positive energy, amplified by the adoration of her by those who understand what she is doing and even by the opposition of those who challenge her.
Whether filming a warm and very personal interview in a field lit by golden afternoon light, documenting Dr. Shiva sharing her knowledge about the benefits of biodiversity and organic farming with a gathering of village women dressed in spectacular colors, or working with other advanced thinkers who gather and teach at Navdanya, I was continually astonished by the sheer power of her being and generous spirit.
I feel honored to have been able to include her in the film and to spend time with her in the course of filming.
Vandana told me in her interview that we need to shift our consciousness so that we value soil, not oil. A shift in consciousness towards a more sustainable future means we also will cherish and value the amazing people who will get us there. Vandana Shiva is one of those heroic people.
– Gene Rosow, Director of DIRT! The Movie
For more information on the film and the story behind it, visit their website.
You can sow a seed in your community by hosting a DIRT! screening! Plus, visit our campaign page for more ideas on how to take action with Vandana Shiva for a healthy and sustainable food supply.
Remember – in the battle to save the planet, you can plant the first seed: Share your story of how you’re planting seeds for change in your community, by entering our contest, and you’ll be eligible to win a prize, including being featured on TV as our next GreenHero! Contest details and more information can be found here.