Segments in this Video

Introduction to Wendell Berry (03:22)


Moyers interviews the writer, farmer and environmental activist in Louisville on the 35th anniversary of "The Unsettling of America." Hear from sustainable agriculture advocates.

Environmental Civil Disobedience (04:37)

Berry reads "The Contrariness of the Mad Farmer" and discusses his increasing radicalism, including attending a sit-in protesting strip mining at the Kentucky governor’s office.

Addressing Strip Mining (02:51)

Berry discusses the government's inability to take conservation action, despite fifty years of water pollution in Eastern Kentucky.

Natural Logic of Capitalism (03:21)

Berry talks about how industrialization replaces people with technology, and concentrates wealth in a plutocracy—but activists are challenging corporate person hood.

Combining Poetry and Activism (03:28)

Berry discusses the grassroots movement and how farming and family relationships have deepened his environmental commitment.

Spiritual Environmentalism (05:11)

Berry talks about the influence of faith on his activism and writing. He reads "The Peace of Wild Things" and explains his view that ecological damage desecrates nature.

Shifting to Long Term Solutions (02:45)

Moyers reads a quote about the ecological destruction caused by capitalism. Berry reveals advice he gives to activists: to be patient and listen to the environment.

Promoting Environmental Stewardship (02:15)

Berry's Kentucky neighbors farm sustainably. He advises young people not to expect immediate solutions but to set a good example.

50 Year Farm Bill (01:53)

Berry and Wes Jackson have proposed long term protection for sustainable agriculture. A Kentucky neighbor discusses why he converted to organic production.

Pastured Livestock (01:45)

Berry explains his philosophy on raising and eating animals, and reads his poem "For the Hog Killing."

Resettling Rural America (02:27)

Berry calls for increasing agricultural diversity and farm employment—supported by a decent living wage.

Hope for Environmental Progress (02:43)

Berry describes what keeps him optimistic, and reads a piece about finding truth in civil disobedience.

"A Poem on Hope" (02:50)

Berry reads "A Poem on Hope."

"Dance of the Honeybee" (06:38)

Berry predicted that robot pollinators would replace honeybees; Europe has banned neonicotinoids believed to contribute to colony collapse disorder: Bill McKibbon narrates short film "Dance of the Honeybee."

Credits: Moyers & Company: Wendell Berry, Poet and Prophet (01:53)

Credits: Moyers & Company: Wendell Berry, Poet and Prophet

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Moyers & Company: Wendell Berry, Poet and Prophet

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In this edition of Moyers & Company, Bill speaks with Wendell Berry—a passionate environmental advocate, a man of the land, and one of America’s most influential writers—about Berry’s views on civil disobedience, his strong opposition to agribusiness and massive industrial farms, and his support for sustainable farming and the local food movement. This rare television interview was filmed at Kentucky’s St. Catharine College during a celebration of Berry’s life and ideas that marked the 35th anniversary of the publication of his landmark book The Unsettling of America. “It’s mighty hard right now to think of anything that’s precious that isn’t endangered,” says Berry. “There are no sacred and unsacred places; there are only sacred and desecrated places. My belief is that the world and our life in it are conditional gifts.” Broadcast date: October 4, 2013, and November 29, 2013. (57 minutes)

Length: 50 minutes

Item#: BVL55672

ISBN: 978-0-81608-909-3

Copyright date: ©2013

Closed Captioned

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