Watch The Trailer
Storyline (warning: spoilers)
Rachel is writer/director/actor Rachel Ward. Before we visit her farm, here is a brief introduction, reminding us of who Rachel Ward has been, English-born, international actress, award-winning director, and, after meeting on the set of The Thorn Birds, marrying popular Australian actor, Bryan Brown, and they have been married for 40 years, parents, grandparents.
Ward introduces us to the farm that they bought some decades ago, in the Nambucca, NSW mid-North Coast. Rachel is a forthright personality, speaking articulately to camera, her commentary running right throughout the film, but she knows that, while listening on the part of the audience is important, there is more importance in seeing. After devastation of the area by the 2019 fires, and in collaboration with her neighbour, Mick Green, Rachel committed herself to farming, finding it exhilarating even if constant hard work. However, it was not just farming in the traditional way, a smaller property, running some cattle, reliant on fertilisers and other chemicals. Rather, this is a documentary about regenerative agriculture.
Rachel and Mick eventually combine their properties and begin working together. He introduces the regenerative aspects of the farming, along with some consultation of Indigenous elders about care for the land. Rachel goes to cattle auctions and becomes involved in farm maintenance and regeneration. Bryan Brown says that he couldn’t be a farmer – too much hard work. But he does help in his way. But more help comes from their daughter, Matilda.
The action takes place from the fires of 2019 and Rachel’s learning, going into action, held up for some months by Mick’s severe motorcycle accident and his recuperation, her having to take greater responsibilities, careful financial planning, and her making a commitment at this stage of her life to farm work, and regeneration of the land. One has to say that Rachel Ward is persuasive in what she says and in showing what she does. And, in these global warming difficult ecological times, the message about regenerative agriculture is more than timely.