By Owen Gleiberman
Updated June 29, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT
Taggart Siegel

This spirited documentary, replete with home-movie nostalgia and a central character who’s a true character, is the rare look at farming that celebrates, yet also demystifies, the love of the land. In the ’60s, John Peterson inherited his family’s Illinois acreage. When his attempts to become a hippie farmer failed, he lost most of the property, but the land wouldn’t let go of him. As this flamboyant free spirit (at times he’s like Priscilla, Queen of the Cornfields) works his way back, raising organic crops, The Real Dirt on Farmer John turns into a portrait of how American family farming could blossom for a new century. B+