International Competition

The Real Dirt on Farmer John

Taggart Siegel

This documentary drama is concentrated on the colorful character of John Peterson, a farmer, artist and eccentric living in Illinois, and his twenty-year long efforts to revitalize his family farm. After his father’s death in the late 1960s, John turned the farm into a commune for hippies, radicals and artists. A crisis took place in the 1980s. Finally, both Peterson’s reputation and farm were ruined: his neighbors accused him of being a Satanist and a drug dealer (they even wanted to kill him) and the farm burnt down. Today, the prospects are much brighter – the farms has risen from the ashes and has become one of the largest organic-food producers in the USA and a place where love for people, art and agriculture reigns.

Taggart Siegel

Taggart Siegel has been producing and directing acclaimed and awarded documentaries and feature films for almost twenty years. His documentaries are often educational and are shown at universities across the USA. Among them are: Split Horn: The Life of a Hmong Shaman in America (2001), Shadow of the Pepper Tree (1995), Wild Blue Moon (1992), Blue Collar & Buddha (1986). Together with his wife Sarita, he is the owner of an independent production house Alchemy Films.

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The Real Dirt on Farmer John

2005, 83', color, 35 mm

Directed by:
Taggart Siegel

Screenplay by:
John Peterson

Taggart Siegel

Edited by:
Greg Snider

Mark Orton, Dirty Three

Teri Lang, Taggart Siegel

Produced by:
Collective Eye