Besieged by drought, bushfires and ecological despair, Rachel Ward begins a journey of discovery to regenerate the land on her farm in the Nambucca Valley in northern New South Wales in her documentary, Rachel’s Farm. Source: Australian Catholics.
Before we visit her farm, there is a brief introduction with footage reminding us who Rachel Ward is – an English-born, international actress and award-winning director, married to Australian actor Bryan Brown.
Ward introduces us to the small farm the couple pair bought decades ago. She is a forthright personality, speaking articulately to camera, her commentary running throughout the film but she knows that, while listening on the part of the audience is important, there is more importance in seeing.
After the area was devastated by bushfire in 2019, Ward, in collaboration with her neighbour Mick Green, committed herself to farming, finding it exhilarating even if constant hard work. However, it was not just farming in the traditional way – rather, this is a documentary about regenerative agriculture. It might not be a phrase on everybody’s lips – but one hopes that after seeing this film and being persuaded by what we see and hear, we will be enthusiastic about developments, ecologically sound, about regenerative agriculture.
Ward and Green combine their properties and begin working together. He introduces the regenerative aspects of the farming, along with some consultation of Indigenous elders about care for the land. Ward goes to cattle auctions, and becomes involved in farm maintenance and regeneration.
She is persuasive in what she says and in showing what she does. And, in these difficult ecological times, the message about regenerative agriculture is more than timely.
Review by Fr Peter Malone MSC, Jesuit Media
Rachel’s Farm: Starring Rachel Ward, Mick Green, Bryan Brown. Directed by Rachel Ward. 87 minutes. Rated PG (Mild themes and coarse language).
Rachel’s Farm (Jesuit Media via Australian Catholics)