Kiss The Ground (documentary film streaming on Netflix); Narrated by: Woody Harrelson; Direction: Joshua and Rebecca Harrell Tickell; Rating: * * * and 1/2 (three and a half stars)
BY VINAYAK CHAKRAVORTY
Kiss The Ground talks of a simple solution to save planet Earth from most of its ecological woes. The docu-film draws focus on the power of the soil, and suggests regenerative cultivation of the soil as an effective way to avert impending doom.
For a glamour draw, directors Joshua and Rebecca Harrell Tickell have roped in Woody Harrelson as narrator of their cinematic prescription to resuscitate the planet. “Soil contains a universe of life,” asserts Harrelson, as the narrative goes about investing its minutes to explain how tapping into the power of the soil to lower carbon footprint is necessary if we must curb the ill impact of climate change.
In order to understand why soil is important, the Tickells and co-writer Johnny O’Hara start off by explaining how rampant abuse of the earth surface has triggered off erosion. The resultant effect has been only too obvious on the health of the planet and its inhabitants, as well as its climate.
The screenplay does a global recce to underline its point, in the process setting up a panoramic tour across farming cultures as different as the United States and China. The fact is effectively captured how regeneration of soil helps turn near-dead stretches into lush expanses across environmentally varied landscapes.
A sprinkle of stardust is always a shot in the arm for activism, and this particular push for an aggressive agro therapy to save planet Earth incorporates more than Harrelson’s voiceover. The narrative accommodates celebrity climate warriors such as actors Patricia and David Arquette, Rosario Dawson, and Ian Somerhalder, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, her husband and NFL quarterback Tom Brady, and singer Jason Mraz. The idea should help grab the eyeballs and invariably inspire the fans. There are environment experts, too, to add weight to the effort.
The film makes its point simply and clearly. It is sincere in the proposal it extends to heal the planet, and the scientific context used to put across its logic is effective enough. Importantly, despite talking of a heavy subject as climate change over 84 minutes, it maintains a tone that is far from preachy or tedious.
(Vinayak Chakravorty can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)