Some things (and films) are baffling beautiful. Soil is perhaps the most baffling and complex of these beautiful things.

Mark Verkerk’s documentary “Planet Soil” takes viewers into the underground world of minute organisms doing hugely important deeds. What unfolds is a captivating and earthy intoxication. If you think you’re busy, wait until you see what an earthworm gets up to!

One of the most stunning things about “Planet Soil” is the cinematography.

As the film begins you’ll instantly wonder how the heck did they film this—all these tiny creatures that aren’t visible to the naked eye?

The film’s use of microcinematography is next-level cool. It’s not something most casual documentary viewers will have experienced before, at least not on such a dazzling level.

Microcinematography is the use of a microscope to document organisms by means of time-lapse photography. The painstaking dedication it must have taken to film and edit these sequences was worth every minute because they are what make “Planet Soil” such a mesmerizing viewing experience.

“Planet Soil” isn’t just full of soil creatures. There are people creatures in it too who play a special role in teaching the viewer about the biodiversity beneath their feet. Marc van Will is one of them, an ecologist and environmental steward from the Netherlands whose vegetable garden acts as the vehicle by which the magical ecosystems of the soil are revealed.

An engaging voice on sustainability, van Will takes viewers through every step of the garden’s lifespan and the impact that healthy soil and its tiny inhabitants have on the quality of what the garden produces. Van Will states, “Every organism, no matter how small, performs a task in the greater whole.” The result of which is a wondrous sight.

If you are remotely interested in ecology and the environment, “Planet Soil” will have you ready to go put on your garden gear and dig up the yard.

An educational and must-watch film for anyone who cares about creating a more sustainable world, “Planet Soil” will inspire you with its look at the big impact the tiniest organisms can have and how viewers can play a nurturing role in supporting the health of the soil and ultimately the whole planet.

Everything on Earth is connected. When the soil thrives, the littlest of wonders like springtails and nematodes thrive, plants thrive–and we, the big human wonders, thrive too.

Perhaps we should all look towards the ground a little more closely, walk a bit more gently, and have a lot more awe for the vast magic happening beneath our feet.

See “Planet Soil” streaming online at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival from July 1st – 31st. For more information, visit: