Dirty Work

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California’s agribusiness plows, plants, and picks pretty much year-round, but we tend to celebrate only the spring-summer harvest. (Seen the price of cherries in Chinatown lately?) Yet even in the midst of the juicy season we ignore the factors and conditions that produce our produce. Bill Benenson and Gene Rosow’s straight-from-Sundance documentary, Dirt! The Movie, tills the most mundane of subjects and raises a bumper crop of illuminating insights. Above all, the film drives home the connection between the thin layer of soil that covers the Earth and the larger forces (famine-fueled war, for one) that affect millions. The centerpiece of 3rd I’s "Green Eye Day," an offseason program from the folks who put on the fall South Asian Film Festival, the doc (screening at 6:30 p.m.) is preceded by a free walking tour of Mission District urban farms and followed by writer and activist Raj Patel expounding on the First World-Third World dichotomy laid out in his 2008 book, Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System. Dirty hands, clean heart, or so they say.
Sat., June 13, 5 p.m., 2009

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