With the rise of chemical pesticides and generally modified organisms in modern agricultural practices come and an array of questions on the matter, both biological and ethical. The strategies of heavyweight corporations to further their control over worldwide food production are straight up frightening and even vaguely remind of dystopian tales of awareness. SEED: THE UNTOLD STORY show a more uplifting side of this problematique through the work of seed keepers, cultivators who try to preserve vegetable diversity as much as possible by collecting, keeping, and renewing impressively varied quantities of seeds.
The JON BETZ/TAGGART SIEGEL documentary primarily shines with its aesthetical choices. The film is absolutely gorgeous to look at, it proves its point just through the beauty of its shots: nature looks so good throughout the 2016 piece it makes you want to save it – even the most ruthless Monsanto lobbyist would have to agree. We see the Amazonian rainforest, the Namibian desert, we see varieties of colourful vegetables and seeds, lots of which I had never seen (and can bet you haven’t either). From slow-mo shots on black backdrops to stop-motion and animation sequences, SEED thrives on its visuals to convey interest.
The 1st and 3rd thirds of the film are particularly fascinating because they focus on the seed keepers themselves, working on their personal crops or travelling around the world to collect new seeds. The passion they present is heartwarming and make up fun segments when paired with the sense of humor many of them showcase.
The 2nd third of SEED is probably its weaker part, basically being awareness about Monsanto’s wrongdoings. Its presence makes perfect sense but feels like it overstays its welcome with its long screen time, especially when considering how publicly known this narrative already is. This small drawback however doesn’t take away from the fun experience SEED: THE UNTOLD STORY promises. Beautiful film, important subject, short and sweet.
Don’t miss Cinema Politica’s next screening, THE OCCUPATION OF THE AMERICAN MIND (LORETTA ALPER’ JEREMY EARP, 2015), a piece on the Israelo-Palestinian conflict and the Israelo-American partnership.