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Eat White Dirt
Short Documentary
Director: Adam Forrester
37 min; United States



Eat White Dirt weaves the story of Tammy Wright, a 37-year-old mother addicted to eating kaolin, with that of scientists, writers, local historians, a physician, an artist, and three other practitioners of geophagy, or earth-eating. Throughout the film, Tammy charismatically describes and exhibits her daily diet, primarily consisting of white dirt, and each character is connected by their own unique kinship with kaolin, or white dirt. The film focuses on this practice within the American South while also referencing its larger global perspective. Earth-eating has been documented in written accounts since 400 BCE; these accounts were most often misinformed and describe the practice as purely destructive. By sharing the ongoing narrative of contemporary scientists engaged in cutting-edge research and modern-day accounts from practitioners of this mysterious and unfamiliar behavior, the tradition, as well as its people, emerge as a courageous counterpoint to the misguided stigmas often associated with eating white dirt.