19-11-06 ARTS Little Farm.jpg

The documentary examines ethical farming practices and the power of hard work.

As The Sun Valley Center for the Arts’ final Big Idea project of 2019 approaches its conclusion, the organization prepares to screen a film that captures many of the project’s themes.

The current Big Idea project, “Marketplaces: From Open Air to Online,” began on Aug. 30 and will close this Friday, Nov. 8. Uniting visual and performing arts, lectures, film screenings, workshops and more, this Big Idea examined the dynamic between culture and commerce.

Before Thanksgiving, The Center will be opening a new visual arts exhibition in its place, but not before “Marketplaces” gets in one last hurrah next week.

On Thursday, Nov. 14, the Magic Lantern Cinema will host two screenings of the 2018 documentary “The Biggest Little Farm.”

The film follows John and Molly Chester, who forfeited successful but unfulfilling lives in the city to take over 200 acres of barren farmland in California in hopes that a starry-eyed attitude and a little gumption could till the earth into something prosperous and bountiful.

Across an eight-year period, “The Biggest Little Farm” captures all the highs and lows of the Chesters’ struggles, the problems they encounter and the triumphs they enjoy.

With John Chester in the director’s seat, the film takes an intimate view of the couple’s quest to “heed nature’s call.”

Tying in with “Marketplaces,” the documentary offers thoughtful insight into the functionality of small farms, the importance of responsible harvesting practices and just how far hard work can go.

“While this film is unbelievably gorgeous, it also delivers a vital message about farming practices,” said Kristine Bretall, director of performing arts at The Center. “As we’ve been exploring this Big Idea about changing economies, we felt it important to include the changes that have occurred in farming as well. The Chesters’ desire to have a farm that upends conventional farming practices results in some roadblocks that would bring most of us to our knees. Their dogged determination is inspiring and the results they achieve are simply astonishing.”

“The Biggest Little Farm” will cap off “Marketplaces: From Open Air to Online” next Thursday, Nov. 14, with two screenings at the Magic Lantern in Ketchum. The first will begin at 4:30 p.m. and the second will follow at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for Center members and $12 for nonmembers. They can be purchased at any time online at sunvalleycenter.org, by calling 208-726-9491 or by swinging by The Center’s main headquarters at 191 Fifth St. E. in Ketchum.

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