schedule

Bitter Seeds

The first two documentaries in Micha X. Peled's globalization trilogy-Store Wars: When Wal-Mart Comes to Town (SFIFF 2001) and China Blue (2005)-exposed the effects of multinational corporate profiteering on workers, whether American middle-managers at Walmart or young Levi's jeans factory workers in China. Bitter Seeds, the final film in the trilogy, is a vibrant investigation of the predicament of Indian cotton farmers caught up in biotech broker Monsanto's genetically modified seed program. Refused loans by legitimate banks, the farmers borrow from illegal moneylenders at seven-percent interest per month and inevitably fall into irredeemable debt, further aggravated by low yields and a need for more fertilizer and water. Out of shame, some commit suicide by drinking Monsanto's pesticide-such deaths now number over 200,000. The tiny miracle in this seemingly hopeless globalization tragedy is the daughter of one such farmer, a council head who was the first in his village to kill himself. Eighteen-year-old Manjusha yearns to be a journalist to expose the reasons for the suicides, but she has no mentor and certainly no encouragement. Peled's latest heroine fights on the frontline of this global human and environmental crisis, driven by a desire to voice the perspective and preserve the dignity of the powerless.

This page may by only partially complete. For additional information about this film, view the original entry on our archived site.