Plot

We live in a world where the only way for us to believe something is to see it scientifically proven. Yet this insistence on the credibility lying solely in things that we can see brings us face-to-face with the unavoidable question of our life on earth. How can we still believe that modern man has invented all?

In the beginning of the 20th century, the Austrian philosopher and social thinker Rudolf Steiner began disseminating thoughts on the future of agriculture – he held that the current system was on the road to failure. In his opinion, agricultural practices should be tailored to be a reflection of each individual site, with the presence of animals and varied crops – a self-sustaining 'farm organism', functioning in total harmony with nature. This came to be called biodynamics.

When Steiner's adherents asked him why no-one had put these ideas into practice, he only responded that if the goal was to enslave people, all that was necessary to do was to give them bad food and putrid water: That was how people were dominated, because all that was sacred about nourishment had been lost.

This concept can be difficult to comprehend in our era of fast food and corporate farming.

It's a political story taking place in the name of profit, and it's not only labourers of the earth who are to blame. It's the accompanying system, the years of training that has resulted in these generations of farmer-chemists, of über-tractors with drivers who do not even know what the earth they work looks like. These are no longer earnest peasants in the best sense of the phrase, people dedicated to their land, to nature, to what is wild...

People are no longer able to explain what a cow does. It is thanks to the ancient Egyptians that this bovine was domesticated, the Egyptians having seen its potential to bring balance back to their farmlands. Why do cows still exist? This animal has a unique digestive system – one of the most complex of all animals – but it is also one of the least efficient.

A whole series of such questions naturally leads to a deeper conviction that the biodynamics philosophy of Steiner – a visionary for his time – has a point, regardless of whether he has been considered crazy (or dangerous) by some, and been venerated by others.

The world of wine rapidly has come to understand what is at stake practising conventional agriculture, with the sensation of having lost contact with the earth being felt earlier here than in other crops. Vignerons are a special genre of person, each with their own particularities about how their wine is made, from the vineyard to the corking of the bottle. This is a craft in which each detail counts. Biodynamic agriculture has progressed enormously thanks to the precision of these charismatic, intelligent people who have the knack for converting you as they share their knowledge.

This film, La Clef des Terroirs, is about just that.

Thank's to Magdalena Rahn for the translation of this page.

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