Taggart Siegel
Owen Gleiberman
June 29, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Real Dirt on Farmer John

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
genre
Documentary

We gave it an B+

This spirited documentary, replete with home-movie nostalgia and a central character who’s a true character, is the rare look at farming that celebrates, yet also demystifies, the love of the land. In the ’60s, John Peterson inherited his family’s Illinois acreage. When his attempts to become a hippie farmer failed, he lost most of the property, but the land wouldn’t let go of him. As this flamboyant free spirit (at times he’s like Priscilla, Queen of the Cornfields) works his way back, raising organic crops, The Real Dirt on Farmer John turns into a portrait of how American family farming could blossom for a new century. B+

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