The documentary film Common Ground, which has premiered over the past few weeks in major cities such as Seattle, Portland, Boulder, and New York City, is coming to Fairfield, Iowa, on October 11-13. Featuring appearances and narration by Laura Dern, Jason Momoa, Rosario Dawson, Donald Glover, Ian Somerhalder, and Woody Harrelson. Common Ground teaches and empowers viewers with the information and tools needed to alter our food and agricultural systems by working with nature—not against it.
Common Ground is the highly anticipated sequel to the juggernaut success documentary Kiss the Ground, which touched over 1 billion people and inspired the USDA to put $20 billion toward soil health. By fusing journalistic expose with deeply personal stories from those on the front lines of the food movement, Common Ground unveils a dark web of money, power, and politics behind our broken food system. The film reveals how unjust practices forged our current farm system in which farmers of all colors are literally dying to feed us.
The film profiles a hopeful and uplifting movement of white, black, and indigenous farmers who are using alternative “regenerative” models of agriculture that could balance the climate, save our health, and stabilize America’s economy—before it’s too late.
“I am 100 percent behind this film and its mission because it shows that we can make our farmers profitable, fix America’s health crisis, and balance our carbon emissions by just healing the soil—this is the answer. It’s just that simple,” says Ian Somerhalder.
Common Ground clearly depicts the simple principles of Regenerative Farming, and the results are astounding: increased production of healthier crops that are chemical free, more calories per acre than the chemical-laden GMO crops and at a lower cost of production, and the added benefit of healthier soil, which retains more water and stores more carbon from the atmosphere than chemically laden soils.
If fixing some of the world’s most challenging problems through regenerative farming seems a tall order, consider this: farming is the primary way we interact with planetary ecosystems. Taken together, farms and ranches represent the largest biome on planet Earth (approximately 10 billion acres globally). Because of its vast scale, agriculture is the key to unlocking so many of the issues we face as a species today.
The film shows that regenerative agriculture is firmly rooted in traditional ecological knowledge. Much of what’s called “regenerative agriculture” has been practiced by indigenous people for generations. A significant step to transitioning to regenerative agriculture is to honor the original caretakers of the North American continent and their way of cultivating the land.
While this way of farming draws from ancient knowledge, the film is the center of a movement about the future. “We wrote Common Ground as a love letter to our children,” says Josh Tickell, who, with Rebecca Tickell, serve as the film’s directors and producers. “In a very real sense, the film is an urgent call to action and a plan for how we can save the future, heal our climate, and fix our broken food system—all through regenerative agriculture.”