Kiss the Ground – Paris International Film Festival 2021 – Film Review

Kiss the Ground or hug a tree are some of the casual expressions that may have been heard describing the relationship between humans and their natural environment. Used as a slight at times and not always taken seriously, these terms attempt to convey the notion that this planet, on which we inhabit, also requires care and attention. Kiss the Ground as a documentary carries this concept a stage further with its strong, emotive plea of encouragement for humans not to give up on planet Earth. Woody Harrelson is the narrator guiding the audience through a mesmerisingly powerful journey identifying pioneering ground techniques in this convincing film.

Kiss the Ground captivates and equally pulls at the emotions as it unveils the damage to the Earth after a variety of historic farming techniques were created for the benefit of humankind. Excessive farming has ultimately been detrimental to planet Earth and its soil. The film, without pontificating, explains the devastation suffered which led to desertification and explores alternative, preventative measures with an interesting approach.

Kiss the Ground visualises the Earth’s beauty and its richness with quick edits and equally beautiful cinematography of golden fields and cloud formations. The settings are aesthetically pleasing and Kiss the Ground engages and teaches in a nourishing manner, outlining a solution, rather than merely delivering technical exposition in a monologue. Kiss the Ground succeeds in making environmental activities seem alluring by highlighting nature in its full glory and is that necessary call to action.

Kiss the Ground - film poster
Kiss the Ground – film poster

Soil conservation is the focus of the documentary and Kiss the Ground spotlights the activities of the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The film reveals that soil can sequester carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, reverse climate change, and that soil contains a universe of life. In a nutshell, maintaining good soil conditions are necessary for the health of humans and planet Earth. Guest appearances from Gisele Bündchen and husband Tom Brady further enhance the appeal of Kiss the Ground’s focus on the soil and plant-based nutrition. These sentiments may be familiar to many, as advice for maintaining healthier lifestyles, but Kiss the Ground’s impressive use of visual effects depicting levels of rainfall due to climate change are particularly enthralling and deliver the message emphatically.

The documentary’s style of interspersing educational elements with impressive visuals assist to create that riveting experience throughout. Kiss the Ground is informative and stimulating but remains fun to watch, which is a good balancing act by the directors. A dramatic score during desertification scenes, visually adds to the emotional resonance pervading Kiss the Ground. It
is a striking technique and ensures that Kiss the Ground stands out from other
climate change focused documentaries. Admittedly, it is fascinating discovering
the different techniques for biosequestration and new farming techniques which are presented in an easy to digest format within Kiss the Ground.

Kiss the Ground had its International Première at the 2021 Paris International Film Festival within the Bring Change section and is co-directed by Rebecca Harrell Tickell and Josh Tickell. The film adopts the same title as the book released by Josh Tickell in 2017. Kiss the Ground exists as a non-profit organisation aiming to inspire people to the possibilities of regeneration and restoring the health of the soil and the atmosphere. The documentary provides that intriguing insight into the pioneering work undertaken and the continuous challenges for the planet which requires our urgent assistance for survival.

A pleasing love letter to our planet, this documentary will fortunately be made available to access at schools as a 45 minute edition. It is certainly never too young to start learning of ecological ways in which we can protect our planet. Plus, Kiss the Ground maintains a hopeful, inspiring tone overall which will inform and interest children in agriculture and planet Earth’s survival.

Kiss the Ground’s resounding heartfelt message is that call to action to love our environment. It is a documentary with such heart and soul inviting love from all for this very ground on which we stand daily. Kiss the Ground’s positive message of increasing biodiversity for the future is truly a moving and uplifting tale.

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