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Final Straw: Food, Earth, Happiness (English)

A majestic journey through Japan, Korea, and the United States that turns our perceptions of food (and life) upside down in a simple and poetic way. 

Solutions for our most pressing global issues come from unexpected places in a film that New York Times bestselling author Alicia Bay Laurel calls “beautiful … both art and documentary.”

Inspired by the works of Masanobu Fukuoka, author of the seminal environmental book The One Straw Revolution, the film weaves together meditative landscapes, an eclectic original soundtrack, and inspiring stories from some of the world’s foremost figures in the natural farming movement. Together, this cast of farmers, chefs, mothers, urbanites, and teachers give modern-day relevance to age-old ideas about food, environmentalism, and happiness.

Final Straw offer itself as a seed, to help us grow solutions for some of the most difficult global ecological and social issues we face today.


This version of the film includes English subtitles. For other languages, please visit the following links: 

Korean / Japanese / Turkish / Chinese


Cast

Yoshikazu Kawaguchi, Larry Korn, Seonghyun Choi, Kristyn Leach, Etsuko Kagamiyama, Ryosok Hong, Maki Sobajima, Kenji Murakami, Yoshiki Yamamoto, Osamu Kita, Kazuaki Okitsu, Dennis Lee


Reviews

“Wow!! A great film … both art and documentary.”
– Alicia Bay Laurel, author of "Living on the Earth"


“... a compelling direction for those seeking to unplug from the materially driven, resource-intensive global food system.”

– Natale Zappia, director of the Institute for Sustainability, California State University


 "Thought provoking and inspiring ... a powerful call to action."
– Clean Eating Magazine

"Loved it... Filled with T.L.C."
– Keibo Oiwa, author of "Slow is Beautiful" & professor of environmental studies at Meiji Gakuin Univeristy, Tokyo


"A film with a very big heart ... the world needs such films now more than ever."
– Brian Covert, journalist & lecturer at Doshisha University, Kyoto


"meditative, mindful ... a beautiful film"
– Barbara Baker, BBC food journalist / Mindful Pie

"...a glimpse of the people and things which society can not ordinarily grasp... beautiful work."
– Kim JaeHyung, Korean philosopher and activist

"It's like Fantasia-meets-farming."
– Rough cut audience member, San Jose, USA

"The film filled me up with great joy and inspiration...I knew it was going to uplift and give a new perspective to my soul, but I didn't know how deeply it would do those things! I'm going to watch the film today... for the 8th time."
– Rafayah Uzzyah, Philadelphia, USA

About the animation

The film is introduced with a delicate and moving hand drawn animated short – created by animator Heeyoung Park, who spent an immersive year with the directors in preparation to draw the first frame – and the film continues with the same deep and attentive vision throughout. 


A Soundtrack from three countries

As our primary filming took place in Japan, South Korea, and the United States, we worked with professional musicians from these countries who volunteered their time to support the film. These musicians are impressive not only musically, but in the mindset of how they make and share their work:

Wind Sync | United States | Houston, Texas | windsync.org

A revolutionary wind quintet who are internationally recognized for their dramatic and engaging performances. 

Bomnunbyul Kim (봄눈별) | South Korea | Seoul | instagram.com/bomnunbyeolsori/

South Korea’s most recognized meditative kalimba and native american flute player.

Joyful Island (나는섬) | South Korea | Seoul | www.bandsinsum.com

An eclectic group of musicians known for their dynamic and upbeat world-folk sound.

Ipppen | Japan | Kagawa | ipppen.bandcamp.com

Experimental musicians known for live performances using direct electrical current and analog instruments.


Four years in the making

The film's directors Patrick Lydon (United States) and Suhee Kang (Korea) walked away from their salaried jobs in Silicon Valley and Seoul, gave up most of their belongings, and lived as vagabonds for over four years in order to make the film. For them, it was a chance to use their skills and curiosity, to help humanity learn more ways to live together with this earth. 

The filming, writing, editing, and musical direction was carried out by Lydon and Kang, however the full production team included hundreds of volunteer translators, hosts, artists, and musicians from over a dozen countries.

The result is a film that will leave you inspired, happier, and maybe even motivated to make change in your own life and actions.


Update from the directors (2018)

In 2015-2016, the directors undertook a 110-date screening and event tour of Japan and Korea, to much celebration. This work included the piloting of a community-based restaurant and garden project called “REALtimeFOOD,” which gained considerable attention and has since been replicated and produced by multiple community and nonprofit organizations.

The film's grassroots popularity doesn't seem to be slowing down. It’s been translated into seven languages (English, Korean, Japanese, French, Vietnamese, Chinese, Turkish, with others in progress) and continues to enjoy community screenings and events held regularly around the world.

The academic world is also taking notice. The film was chosen as one of 25 Global Environmental Justice films, to be used in university courses about sustainability throughout North America.

Today, the directors continue their environmental advocacy work on a full time basis through their City as Nature art and media lab, and the opening of The Branch, an ecological activity space and natural garden in Osaka, Japan that hosts ongoing donation-based public workshops and exhibitions. 

They also continue to work in close collaboration with natural farmers in Japan, and around the world.

100% of sales from this film go towards our ongoing projects for social and ecological wellness. Explore more about the film and what we do at www.cityasnature.org

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  • Film Details
  • GenreDocumentary
  • Running Time1 h 14 min
  • Subtitle LanguageEnglish
  • DirectorsPatrick Lydon, Suhee Kang
  • StarringYoshikazu Kawaguchi, Larry Korn, Seonghyun Choi
  • ProducerCity as Nature

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Final Straw: Food, Earth, Happiness (English)

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