Common Ground Review

Courtesy of Common Ground

I recently started working at a school with a great ecology program. Being in the classroom I am learning a lot about taking care of the Earth and tending to the garden on the school grounds. What I am seeing is that some of the students are really working to make this garden succeed and also learning about how to take care of the land around them. At the beginning of the documentary, Common Ground we see multiple celebrities reading a letter. The letter they are reading is to their future selves or children about the importance of taking care of the Earth. I feel this documentary will help our children and adults learn about our effect on the land and how we can slowly repair it.

I have stated multiple times that Documentaries are my jam. I love seeing real-life stories that not only inspire you but also put a mirror on society to make us see what we can change. Common Ground shows us that there are better ways to use the land to grow crops and we can free ourselves from the cycle that big corporations put on the average person. I know this sounds a little like “the sky is falling”-type preaching, but the more you learn about what goes on in growing crops, the more you want to help in making a change to that system.

Ok, let me back up a bit. Growing up I remember seeing fundraising events like Comic Relief, Live Aid, and Farm Aid. I remember hearing stories of the farmers needing to save their farms due to the cost of buying supplies. As a child, I really did not understand the business side of farming but I knew something about what farmers do. Common Ground not only gives you a brief history of farming but also breaks down how it has changed and become more regulated and almost machine-like. Farmers are not really in control of their land and because of the way they were taught to till their land they are struggling to get by. The soil is not being used in the best way it can be and the process of Regenerative Agriculture can help reverse some of the damage caused to the land.

Courtesy of Common Ground

I would describe this documentary as eye-opening. By seeing the farmers talk about using regenerative agriculture and the older way of growing crops you can clearly see the difference. At the beginning of the documentary, we are introduced to Farmer Gabe Brown. From a bird’s eye view of his land and the land next to him, you can see how Gabe’s land is thriving while the land next to him looks like a desert. This is all due to Gabe using regenerative agriculture on his land. The process of regenerative agriculture is pretty easy for farmers to follow. The thing is that many farmers are too in debt to try to change their way of growing crops.

Sadly, this debt takes the documentary to a sullen place when we learn about the suicide rate among farmers. Many times, the debt they accrue outweighs the money coming in and sadly the pressure is too much for some of them. We see through Roy Thompon that regenerative agriculture can save farmers millions of dollars a year by not needing to buy pesticides and herbicides for their land. This money can save the farming industry and loosen the farmer’s reliability on the Farmer’s Bill.

There is a lot more that we can talk about regarding Common Ground but this documentary needs to be seen so you can see firsthand the effects of regenerative agriculture on the land. Like An Inconvenient Truth, Common Ground is a must-see documentary that can not only change the way we view farmers but also push us to change how we treat Mother Earth.

To learn more about the film, how you can help, or where to catch a screening visit

Final Thoughts: Common Ground is a great documentary that will have you looking at the food you buy in a different way. This is a wake-up call that how we treat our farmers needs to change. While many of us only focus on the end product of what farmers give us we need to start focusing on all facets of farming and what we can do to assist them to save their land.

Kid-Friendly: Yes, this is a movie that kids need to see to help make changes for their future. Kids will learn a lot from Common Ground. There is a section talking about the suicide rate among farmers that might lead to a discussion among kids and their families.

Violence: There is no violence in the movie. Although, seeing how big business and the government screw over farmers is a little violent.

Common Ground investigates the power of regenerative farming systems, from large- to small-scale farmers who are the champions of soil health as the key to unlocking more (and healthier) food to feed America and the world. It implores its viewers to take action and demand regenerative farming practices with statistics and studies to prove that the “Regenerative Movement” could drastically change the course of climate change and the future state of our planet.

Produced and directed by award-winning environmental documentarians Josh and Rebecca Tickell, Common Ground also features Laura Dern, Jason Momoa, Rosario Dawson, Woody Harrelson, Ian Somerhalder, and Donald Glover.

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