Magic Mud

Jakob Gottschau & Jakob Gottschau / Denmark / 2024

The world is facing a gigantic challenge: ensuring a more sustainable food production for a growing population on a decreasing cropland. A radical idea might strengthen sustainable agriculture - and at the same time reduce climate change

A radical idea might strengthen sustainable agriculture, especially on the nutrient-poor tropical soils – and at the same time help to reduce climate change
Back in 2015, professor in geology Minik Rosing became aware that the millions of tons of glacial rock flour produced by the ice sheet each year might be an effective soil improver – especially on depleted tropical soils. And at the same time the rock flour might have the potential to capture CO2 from the atmosphere,. In 2015 Minik Rosing launched a comprehensive research program to test the idea.
During 8 years the film follows the scientist in his search for constructive answers to important global challenges. The intention of the film is to provide a basic understanding of both the complexity of the global challenges, but also how complicated it is to find relevant solutions.
The main protagonist is professor of geology Minik Rosing, and the dominant storyline is the research process, when he in 2015 establishes a research group with plant scientists. Together, they investigate the impact of rock flour on plants grown in the laboratory.
The film follows the long and sometimes strenuous research process from laboratory experiments over field experiments in Denmark and Ghana. The research process has major ups and downs. Minik Rosing and the research group invest heavily in a collaboration with a Brazilian research station. But bureaucracy and communication problems cause collaboration to crumble.
The Danish experiments culminate in Carlsberg’s barley test fields, where the head of the company’s research is caught with total surprise because the flour has caused a yield increase up to 30%. He exclaims spontaneously: “This is completely crazy, completely crazy”.
Besides the research process, Minik Rosing’s “universe” unfolds: His trip deep in the Nuuk Fjord, looking at landscapes – and rock flour. And about Minik Rosing’s collaboration with the famous artist Olafur Eliasson.The film will also document his trip to Ghana, where he meets researchers and poor farmers, who tested the greenlandic mud.