5 heartwarming films and documentaries on farming to reflect on this Holy Week

A scene in the film Bloody Milk (2017). (IMDb/Domino Films)

The Holy Week long weekend is a great time to reflect on one’s actions and impacts on the world. From family to spiritual journey-themed films, there are a lot of movies to binge-watch with the family this coming long weekend. 

As some practices of Lent have agricultural origins, such as the act of fasting linked to the period of subsistence in farming during springtime, the Holy Week long weekend is also a great time to watch heartwarming farming films to reflect on the sector providing nourishment to the world. 

Read: Reflect on Agriculture this Lent 

Here are some of the movies and documentaries worth binge-watching for this Holy Week long weekend:   

Before the Plate (2018) 

Theatrical film poster of Before the Plate (2018). (IMDb/Before the Plate Productions)

This documentary details the epic journey of a renowned Canadian chef John Horne as he tries to retrace the path of each ingredient from the plate back to the farms where they originated from. The documentary film features the most pressing issues affecting farmers and offers insights into the complicated food system connecting local farms to urban restaurants.

Places in the Heart (1984)

DVD film cover of Places in the Heart (1984). (IMDb/Sony Pictures)

Agriculture is still often regarded as a man’s field nowadays, and the film offers an enlightening story featuring the significance of women in the industry. Set on an American farm during the Great Depression of 1935, the film is centered on the story of a widow who took on the supposedly “man’s job” and saved her family farm amidst the economic difficulties at that time. In the film, the widow took on various farming jobs and manages to establish a profitable cotton farm. 

Tanabata’s Wife (2018)

Theatrical film poster of Tanabata’s Wife (2018). (IMDb/Universal Harvester)

The movie offers a moving insight into the country’s farming life in the 1920s. Based on the classic short story of Baguio-born author Sinai Hamada, “Tanabata’s Wife,” the film features a love story between a Japanese immigrant farmer, Tanabata-San, who settled in La Trinidad, Benguet, and a Bontoc woman who was originally his farmhand. The story showcased the couple’s love amidst the cultural barriers and challenges of tending to a family farm. 

Bloody Milk (2017)

Theatrical film poster of Bloody Milk (2017). (IMDb/Domino Films)

Similar to how households take care of their pets with fervor, livestock farmers also develop a bond with the animals they raise. The French movie Bloody Milk (Petit paysan) highlights the day-to-day struggles of a smallholder dairy farm and the touching bond between the dairy farmer and his cows. Set in a time where cow disease is prevalent in their locality, the dairy farmer tries to save his cows from being culled. 

Food Evolution (2016)

Theatrical film poster of Food Evolution (2016). (IMDb/Black Valley Films)

For those who would like to immerse themselves in the science of food, Food Evolution is an interesting documentary to watch. The documentary explores several food myths and misconceptions, such as the issue with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Narrated by famous science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson, Food Evolution tackles the science behind food engineering, how it impacts agriculture, and society’s differing arguments about what food should be. 

While the list is short, watching these films can be a good start to exploring the realities of agriculture and reflecting on the issues affecting farmers. While working to have food on the plate is vital, these films highlight the fact that how the food was produced is also equally important as it will have an impact on every person’s life in one way or another. 

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