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The Biggest Little Farm

May 25, 2019

A splendid doc about farming paradise.

The Biggest Little Farm

Grade: A

Director: John Chester (Euphoria)

Screenplay: Chester, Mac Monroe (The Cove)

Cast: John Chester, Molly Chester (Home and Family)

Rating: PG

Runtime: 1 hr 31 min

By: John DeSando

“The simple hearth of the small farm is the true center of our universe.” Masanobu Fukuoka

I know some people who claim to have grown up on a farm when in fact it was a piece of arid forest back east with one donkey and a few years under a mad matron. I recommend they, and anyone else inclined to romanticize farming, see The Biggest Little Farm, a documentary so honest about rural paradise as to inspire any audience to call realtor friends upon exit.

Documentarian John Chester and wife Molly, true romantics, buy 200 acres of dry land one hour north of LA (the above “farmers” could take the trip from LA to see this real farm). They document the next eight years with love and glorious photography. They revive the soil and nurture it with a virtual Noah’s Ark of eating and defecating cuties, from a loveable sow to a living rooster and lambs and bulls and critters they didn’t even have to import.

After a few years, drone shots reveal a swirling landscape of apricot trees and plants and grass to withstand the monstrous wind and rain sure to come. The likeness to crop circles is another layer of the farm’s greet mysteries. Rains and wind do come, and the Chesters survive because they listened carefully to expert Allen, whose death leaves them to figure out their own survival. And they do.

Figuring out the place of coyotes in the deaths of their chickens is also one of the many challenges they have to assess and make decisions about life and death, tough calls for two sensitive souls dedicated to the harmony of nature.

They revive the soil and their souls, have a prosperous egg business, and learn to live in harmony with themselves and Nature’s wondrous bounty. The Biggest Little farm is one of the best docs so far this year and a satisfying emotional and cinematic experience for the whole family and its pets.

John DeSando, a Los Angeles Press Club first-place winner for National Entertainment Journalism, hosts WCBE’s It’s Movie Time and co-hosts Cinema Classics. Contact him at JDeSando@Columbus.rr.com