Streams

“Bitter Seeds”

Friday, June 22, 2012

Director Micha X. Peled, discusses his documentary “Bitter Seeds,” about an epidemic of farmer suicides in India. In 2004 an American company introduced its genetically modified seeds to the Indian market, promising higher yields. But the seeds require expensive pesticides and chemical fertilizers and are sterile, so new seeds have to be every year, which is costly for farmers with already meager incomes. “Bitter Seeds” is being shown as part of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater.

Guests:

Micha X. Peled
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Comments [4]

pephie from Greenpoint

Earlier doc on farmer suicides, "Nero's Guests" produced in India, premiered at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in NYC in June 2010. Palagummi Sainath is the journalist at "The Hindu" newspaper, who worked with the young woman reporter who traveled to visit the families of farmer's who had committed suicide.

Can we give that first doc some credit here? What is its relation to the one showing now?

Watch trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvuiIn3ej4Y

I saw "Nero's Guests" in that 2100 festival - it was powerful - farmer suicides in India and how the hard work of the young woman reporter who visited the families, and the stringent data collection by Sainath, resulted in finally breaking the story - (relating to international competition by megafarms - not just Monsanto's genetic modification discussed today) - they deserve credit!

Jun. 22 2012 01:44 PM
MichaelB from Morningside Heights

Didn't I read in the NYTimes about a year ago that the requirement of large amounts of water by the agricultural techniques introduced by the US is emptying the ground water in many places in India, due to wells and pumping for irrigation. These water sources will not be replaced for years -- it doesn't happen quickly.

Can the guest comment on this problem?

Jun. 22 2012 12:59 PM
Eve from NJ

There was an excellent article in Vanity Fair showing how American farmers are going through the same thing with Monsanto a few years ago. The world's farmers and population are losing big time to genetically altered seeds. The article showed how chemical companies bully and sue American farmers who do not want to use these seeds, and once the farmers are in, they can't get out. This from one of the purveyors of Agent Orange!

Jun. 22 2012 12:58 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Uber-urbanization is the only solution to all of these problems. Both China and India still have to move over 1 billion people off the land and into the megacities. It's happening naturally, only in China it is done with a hard hand.

Jun. 22 2012 12:50 PM

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