TO WHICH WE BELONG – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

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Way back in 2006, former Vice President Al Gore alerted the general public to the topic of climate change and the harm it could do to our planet in his Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth. Now, more than a decade later, filmmakers Pamela Tanner Boll and Lindsay Richardson’s uplifting new doc To Which We Belong looks at the healthy benefits of holistic farming that allows livestock, crops and groundcover integrated by wise management to work together to stop carbon emissions from befouling the ecosystem.

Featured on screen are nine farms, ranging in location from Montana, Connecticut, and Colorado to Kenya and Chihuahua, Mexico, all of which were depleted of nutrients by the practice of only growing a single type of crop over and over again. By diversifying crops and leaving years of industrialized agriculture behind, a new heathier environment for native plants is possible. These farmers, fishermen and ranchers want to work hand and hand with Mother Nature, not against her best interests – as well as ours as human beings.

Instead of keeping farm animals locked up in pens, they are allowed to roam free in the fields, where they feast on nutritious wild plants and drop their own dung to better enrich the soil. Such practices lead to better health for all involved – humans, livestock, and natives and the environment. Basically, industrialized farming practices are old news that’s bad news.

It doesn’t hurt that the doc features some dazzling landscapes, including the coast of Connecticut near the ocean and the mountains of Montana and Colorado. If more livestock owners chose this way to make a living, it would mean that drawing down carbon from the sky to allow it to seep into the soil and enrich it – a win-win for the whole universe.

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Susan Wloszczyna

In her nearly 30 years at USA Today, Susan Wloszczyna interviewed everyone from Vincent Price and Shirley Temple to Julia Roberts and Will Smith. Her coverage specialties include animation, musicals, comedies and any film starring Hayley Mills, Sandy Dennis or hobbits. Her crowning career achievements so far, besides having Terence Stamp place his bare feet in her lap during an interview for The Limey, is convincing the paper to send her to New Zealand twice for set visits, once for The Return of the King and the other for The Chronicles of Narnia and King Kong, and getting to be a zombie extra and interview George Romero in makeup on the set for Land of the Dead. Though not impressive enough for Pulitzer consideration, she also can be blamed for coining the moniker "Frat Pack," often used to describe the comedy clique that includes Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell. Her positions have included Life section copy desk chief for four years and a film reviewer for 12 years. She is currently a contributor for the online awards site Gold Derby and is an Oscar expert for RogerEbert.com. Previously, she has been a freelance film reporter and critic, contributing regularly to RogerEbert.com, MPAA’s The Credits, the Washington Post, AARP The Magazine online and Indiewire as well as being a book reviewer for The Buffalo News. She previously worked as a feature editor at the Niagara Gazette in Niagara Falls, N.Y. A Buffalo native, she earned her bachelor's degree in English at Canisius College and a master's degree in journalism from Syracuse University.