Shot over the course of eight years, John Chester’s gorgeous paean to the power of Mother Nature and humankind’s attempts to tame it via farming is one of the documentaries of the year. Chester and his wife, Molly—he’s a documentary cameraman, she’s a chef—quit their Santa Monica lives in favour of their dream: owning a farm and making it productive. If they had known what was in store for them—dead soil, snail infestations, coyote attacks, record droughts—surely they would have come to their senses, but, luckily for us, they didn’t. Chester captures the process of overcoming their ordeals with the help of a mentor and learning to work in harmony with nature’s unpredictable foibles. The result is often breathtaking—Chester’s amazing cinematography begs to be seen on the big screen—and always deeply affecting.
‘As the story unfolds… Biggest becomes… a thoughtful and often profoundly moving portrait of the remarkable work involved in producing mindful food—and an eloquent reminder that so much of what we take for granted on our plates is, in its own everyday way, a miracle.’—Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly