Back to the Soil

Back to the Soil
dir. Bill Morrison/USA/2014/18 min.
Kinoteka, sala 7

The JDC would provide financial, legal, and agricultural support to the new 'Agro-Joint' initiative. Jewish families would leave the ghettos, and resettle in these new rural colonies. There they would learn how to farm, and gain the rights of Soviet citizens.

In May 1927 the colonies were documented by James H. Becker of Chicago, my grandfather, who shot the 1000 feet of 16mm film that comprise this film. By 1938, more than 250,000 Soviet Jews would settle in 215 colonies, across 2.5 million acres of land. Their fate has been well documented elsewhere.

This is a story of their journey back to the soil.


  • projection time:
    18 min.
  • country/year:
    USA /2014
  • director:
    Bill Morrison
  • editor:
    Bill Morrison
  • production:
    Bill Morrison / Hypnotic Pictures
  • festivals and awards:
    2022 – Millennium Docs Against Gravity: Polish premiere

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