"Jo Parkes' film ‘From the Soil’ is a powerful and elegaic insight into rural, agricultural life in Britain in the 21st century. Jo has managed to convey a timely and important message in a way that is fresh, poignant, tough and unsentimental. What is particularly successful is the way the film blends so seamlessly the testimonies of farmers living and working in the south west with the dance elements, which are thoughtful, beautifully shot with a strong sense of place and location. The three dancers, who represent the changing dynamics of relationships within a farming family, perform with integrity and skill to convey the subtle shifts between them, set against a backdrop of uncertainty, facing the future with courage and love. Dance for the Camera is a relatively new art form, and ‘From the Soil’ is one of the finest examples of the genre I have yet seen."
Chris Fogg - Take Art
From the Soil is a 30-minute dance/documentary film, which tells the stories of farming families in the south west of England.The piece addresses the politics of food production by focusing upon the intimate details of the farmer's lives and the stories of individuals, using the personal as a gateway to issues of wider resonance. Interviews with farming families combine with choreographed dance scenes and documentary footage of farmers to explore the changes in farming in the UK over the last 60 years.
From The Soil was screened at the Soil Association conference 2007 and IMZ Dance for Camera festival in 2008. Produced by Kate Saunders and The Engine Room. From an idea by Kate Saunders with performances by Adam Benjamin, Rosanna Irvine and newcomer Arran Humphries. Cinematography by Sven O. Hill and music by Christopher Benstead.