You Think The Earth Is a Dead Thing

Tu crois que la terre est chose morte

  • Florence Lazar
  • France
  • 2019
  • 70 min
  • World Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary
Just one of the many far-reaching impacts of the slave trade on human history is on agriculture and horticulture. While the French plantation owners on the Caribbean island of Martinique had their gardens laid out in Versailles style, their enslaved workers continued their tradition of using medicinal wild herbs, which grew in hedges on the periphery of the “habitations.” The plants were known as rimèd razie, or “hedge remedies.”

Nowadays these herbs represent one of several resources through which the people of Martinique counter the health and ecological ravage caused by the use of pesticides on the banana plantations, which cover a quarter of the land. Another form of resistance is being led by farmers who are reclaiming uncultivated lands to grow indigenous vegetables, guided by expert local knowledge and without any industrial pesticides. 
While pruning, chopping and harvesting the plants, local farmers explain, with extensive historic knowledge of the post-colonial era, how difficult it is to preserve biodiversity. These lively interviews alternate with more poetic and tranquil scenes of the island’s lush greenery, and of the cause of the problems: the dangling bunches of bananas, wrapped in plastic.


  • 70 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: French
  • Subtitles in: English
Florence Lazar
Julie Paratian for Sister Productions
Roland Edzard, Julien Loustau
Julien Loustau
Térence Meunier, Dider Andréa

IDFA history

World Premiere
IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary

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IDFA history

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