The successes and failures of a couple determined to live in harmony with nature on a farm outside of Los Angeles are lovingly chronicled by filmmaking farmer John Chester, in this inspiring documentary.

TIFF Docs

The Biggest Little Farm

John Chester

Filmmaker John Chester and his wife Molly Chester, a culinary writer, trade city life to start their own farm on a stretch of depleted soil outside Los Angeles. Part of their inspiration is to offer a better, outdoor life for their rescue dog, Todd. Moreover, they want to live in better harmony with nature. Many of us hold similar dreams, but John and Molly put them into action.

John chronicles their efforts for more than eight years in this sweeping epic of twists and turns related to the creation of Apricot Lane Farms. As neophytes, John and Molly enlist a consultant, Alan York, whose vision is to raise an array of crops and livestock. Alan cautions that it will take seven years before they fully realize their potential. During that wait, they face mounting obstacles: coyotes, insects, bad weather, and disease, like a modern-day Little House on the Prairie. Most farmers would respond with pesticides, extermination, and concentration on a single crop. But following their guru, John and Molly remain steadfast in their commitment to working with nature, not against it.

Teeming with stunningly beautiful images of flora and fauna — and a pregnant hog that will melt your heart — The Biggest Little Farm is a testament to idealism. For urban viewers, it's a necessary confrontation with how our food is grown. It's also a family adventure, full of suspense and emotion that will leave a lump in your throat.

THOM POWERS

Fri 07

Bell Lightbox 2

Regular
4:15pm
Sat 08

Scotiabank 4

Press
11:45am
Sun 09

Scotiabank 1

Regular
2:15pm
Tue 11

Scotiabank 11

Press
11:00am
Sun 16

Scotiabank 2

Regular
9:30am