Pierre Rabhi was a farmer, writer, thinker, and international activist. He was one of the pioneers of agroecology in France. Passionate and committed for forty years to improving the condition of humankind and nature, he worked throughout his life to raise awareness about the natural world and about alternative approaches to farming, and envisioned a new model of society where a more healthy and "happy simplicity" would replace overconsumption, human destruction of the natural world, and the malaise of contemporary life. This documentary retraces the itinerary of this “wise man,” from the Algerian desert where he was born in 1938, to Ardeche, France, where he and his wife bought land and raised a family while teaching themselves how to tend the land organically, to helping communities learn organic farming practices, including several years spent working in Burkina Faso. This is the inspiring life story of a man of deep reflection and action “on behalf of the earth.”
Marie-Dominique Dhelsing is a visual artist, photographer and documentary director. She has been making documentary films for the past twenty years on cultural and social subjects. After having taught at the School of Decorative Arts in Strasbourg, she intervenes regularly at the University of Poitiers and regularly offers workshops in connection with her artistic practice.
Ralph Ghoche is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at Barnard College. His current research looks at the territorial interventions of the Catholic Church in Colonial Algeria in the 19th century. His teaching interests include courses on landscape theory and ecology, utopian urbanism, and architecture and the biological metaphor.
Jeffrey Potent is an Adjunct Professor at SIPA, where he teaches the graduate course in corporate sustainability and he has taught courses in systems theory, natural capital valuation, and sustainable agriculture at the Columbia Earth Institute. He serves on the faculty steering committee for the Columbia Climate School, Healthy and Sustainable Food Systems Network and co-leads its Local Food Systems Research Hub.
Shanny Peer is the Director of the Columbia Maison Française and holds a Ph.D. in French Studies from NYU. She is a co-curator of the Being in the World film festival.
This screening is part of Being in the World: People and the Planet in French and Francophone Cinema, a film festival curated and presented by Columbia Maison Française, with additional support provided by Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Columbia Climate School, Knapp Family Foundation, Paul LeClerc Centennial Fund, Columbia University Institute for Ideas and Imagination, Columbia Global Centers | Paris, Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities, Alliance Program, and European Institute.