‘Symphony of the Soil’ Shines Light On What’s Gone Wrong

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As “Symphony of the Soil,” the latest film written by Deborah Koons Garcia, points out, “One can go down thousands of years into the soil. Soil is the water and land having a dialogue. Soil is the interface of biology and geology. Soil is an ecosystem,  a living thing. As long as the soil remains healthy, the planet will be healthy.”

The Soul of the Soil

First in a three-part series on soil used to grow food crops.

To see “Symphony of the Soil” in your area, click here for a list of theaters.

In the 1970s, Garcia became a vegetarian. She also became a fanatic about good, clean food. She doesn’t eat white sugar, white flour or anything that isn’t organic. As she became educated about real food, she began to think about a film. What resulted were a number of films and then “The Future of Food,” a documentary that, among other things, deals head on with the issue of genetically modified organisms and the world of agriculture.

Symphony of Soil” does not focus on the agriculture world. It deals with deeper issues that affect the soil. Although the film is an overlay of facts, time-lapse photography, animated water colors and beautiful soothing music, the details are deeply disturbing. Here are some:

In the last 25 years, the biology of soil all over the world has been interrupted by antibiotics, herbicides and pesticides. Whereas soil used to be full of lively diverse microbes, in most places this is no longer the case. In the last 50 years we have destroyed the world’s topsoil. In order to rectify this situation, synthetic fertilizers are used to enrich the degraded soil, which only puts further stress on the soil and increases its vulnerability to pests. This causes farmers to use more pesticides, stronger pesticides and stronger herbicides. One-third of the world’s arable land has been lost to erosion.

Seventy percent of our freshwater is used for agriculture irrigation. And that resource is quickly dissipating at an unsustainable rate. Among the chemicals that causes the most concern is aminopyralid.


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Jacob Burns Nature Series Opening Night

Symphony of the Soil will kick off the Jacob Burns Nature Series

Wednesday September 25, 2013
405 Manville Road Pleasantville, NY 10570

Click here

“Focus on Nature 2013”

Opening Night at the Jacob Burns Center! Deborah Koons Garcia’s magnum opus on the extraordinarily complex web of life that exists in soil. Anything but ordinary, a handful of typical garden soil contains billions of organisms that interact in complex ways with water, atmosphere, plants, animals, and each other, underpinning the cycle of life. With fascinating contemporary thought and ancient knowledge from around the world, Garcia guides us to a new level of appreciation for this most essential resource.

Q&A and RECEPTION: Dan Barber, who appears in the film, is executive chef and co-owner of the restaurants Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns. He is a nationally known writer and speaker, working to bring the principles of good farming to the table. Producer/Director Deborah Koons Garcia last visited the JBFC with her 2004 feature, The Future of Food. Moderated by JBFC Executive Director Steve Apkon.

Join us after the program for a reception featuring food sourced from popular vendors from the Pleasantville Farmers Market. Wine generously donated by Wine Enthusiast.

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Symphony of the Soil in San Rafael

Symphony of the Soil will screen at The Smith Rafael Film Center as a special week long engagement.

Friday, September 27 to Wednesday, October 2
Fri, Sep 27 2013 – 6:30
Sat, Sep 28 2013 – 1:30
Sun, Sep 29 2013 – 1:30, 6:30
Mon, Sep 30 2013 – 6:30
Tue, Oct 1 2013 – 6:30
Wed, Oct 2 2013 – 6:30

Producer/Director Deborah Koons Garcia and Dr. Ignacio Chapela will be in attendance on Friday September 27th.

Tickets available at the Christopher Smith Rafael Film Center / The California Film Institute. Get your tickets here!
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