The Real Dirt on Farmer John
An International Success!
The Real Dirt on Farmer John has opened in theaters across the US, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.

"Inspiring....outstanding intimacy unimaginable in most nonfiction films."
~ Kevin Crust, Los Angeles Times ~

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The epic tale of a maverick Midwestern farmer. An outcast in his community, Farmer John bravely stands amidst a failing economy, vicious rumors, and violence. By melding the traditions of family farming with the power of art and free expression, this powerful story of transformation and renewal heralds a resurrection of farming in America.

The film is a haunting odyssey, capturing what it means to be different in rural America.

Director Taggart Siegel Collective Eye made the film in a most unusual way - shooting farmer John Peterson over 25-years of their evolving friendship, and using multiple media, from 8 mm home movies shot on the farm in the 50's and 60's to modern video -- allowing him to capture his alternately humorous, heartbreaking and spirited life with raw drama and intimacy.

With the death of his father during the late 60s, a teenaged John takes over the traditional family farm, slowly turning it into an experiment of art and agriculture, making it a haven for hippies, radicals and artists. The Real Dirt on Farmer John charts the end of this idealistic era as the farm debt crisis of the 80's brings about the tragic collapse of the farm.

As the intricate weave of rural America unravels, vicious local rumors turn John into a scapegoat, condemning him as a Satan-worshipping drug-dealer. Threatened with murder, his home burned to the ground, John forsakes his farm and wanders through Mexico, where he is transformed by the soulfulness and pageantry of this ancient land. Mysteriously, his quest leads him back to his hostile homeland.

Defying all odds, he gradually transforms his land into a revolutionary farming community, a cultural mecca, where people work and flourish providing fresh vegetables and herbs to thousands of people every week.

The Peterson family farm has become Angelic Organics, one of the largest Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms in the United States, a beacon of today's booming organic farming movement.

Upcoming Screenings

Here's what others are saying about our film!

 3.5 out of 4 stars. A loving, moving, inspiring, quirky documentary. 

~ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times ~

 Unbelievably special...a real and gripping story with insight and humor. 
~ Al Gore, former Vice-President ~

 "[The Real Dirt] offers one man's extraordinary life as a gateway to a larger history of tragedy and transition. It's an unflinching account of what farming takes - and, more important, what it gives back... 
~ Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times ~

 The film evolves into a deeply moving metaphor for the struggles of an entire generation. His triumphant story is essential for all of us city folk who have found ourselves despairing for the Earth and what has seemed like our inevitable alienation from it. 
~ Mark Achbar, director, The Corporation ~

See more Raves & Reviews

The Real Dirt was created by Taggart Seigel. For more of Seigel's films, visit Collective Eye.

In the U.S., brought to you by CAVU Pictures

In Germany, brought to you by KinoStar

In Australia and New Zealand brought to you by Gil Scrine Films

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