"The director Monika Pirch approaches the topic of soil with a respectful attitude and the aim to explore all of its functions and meanings. We follow her personal process of building a close relationship with her inherited piece of land. 1HA43A embraces all aspects related to soil: history, traditions, agricultural labor, ecology and biodiversity, economics, laws and regulations. The conclusion of the film is that soil is a scarce, non-renewable resource and its value lies beyond financial interests."
Juryjudgment INFF 2015
The theme of soil is now connected to important topics like sustainability and equality. Fertile farmland is a non-renewable resource. Once it has been sealed up, overfertilized or simply gone with the wind, it has disappeared forever. At the same time, the ongoing financial crisis has turned buying and selling land into a growing speculative market, not only on the far away African continent, but on the European doorstep as well. As a result, the farmers are running out of land. The machines are getting bigger, but the areas they farm keep getting smaller. In the end there is only one full-time farmer left in the village, who works all of the lands in the immediate (and wider) vicinity without ever coming across a colleague. Farming has become a niche profession, and it feeds us all. To achieve this, the agricultural sector has become the way it is now: large-scale and supported by machinery and chemicals. As a result the farmlands are (almost) free of birds and other wildlife. They also depend on adequate fertilization. Only the weather and the stock exchange can make the business fluctuate. For those who find this too insecure there are other professions. Or they just stop farming the land and let it lie fallow. There's money in that as well.