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Archive for the ‘Documentary’ Category

Seeds-of-Freedom_PosterWhat does it mean for a small farmer in a traditional society to be confronted by an agribusiness juggernaut that intends to consign him, his family, and his methods of sustainable food production to the dustbin of history?

This film gives farmers and activists in Africa, Asia, and Latin America the opportunity to tell us about their experiences as they undergo the appropriation of their land and the corruption of their time-honoured methods by those who treat expressions of biological diversity as commodities to be privatised, manipulated, bought and sold.

Western chemical and agribusiness corporations have long understood that the key to controlling the world’s food supply is control of the essence of life itself: seed. Control of seed supply quite simply means control of the farmer and, as we can plainly see happening in the US, consolidation of the food supply into the hands of a small number of corporate entities.

Narrated by Jeremy Irons, and featuring interviews with a range of experts this short documentary packs a powerful punch. Its visual beauty, the words of farmers of three continents who are on the front line of this struggle, and the concise and direct message that it conveys will leave a deep and lasting impression on all who see it.

Seeds of Freedom is produced by The Gaia Foundation and the African Biodiversity Network, in collaboration with MELCA Ethiopia, Navdanya International and GRAIN.

Selected Quotes

“All traditional cultures have been based on the recognition that the most important reason we are here on earth is to play our role in maintaining life in its diversity. Because seed contains life, seed has been central to reproducing the culture of life. And if you look at rituals, in India, in Africa, in Latin America, seed is at the centre of it”.
Vandana Shiva

“Our traditional crops are good for eating, while the modern crops can be exported. But we can’t eat coffee.”

Norman Karima
Traditional Farmer, Kenya

“I think the real concern is that there is an increasing corporate control of the seed chain, and increasingly that means that a very small number of people are having a massive influence over the way in which farmers are able to farm. Traditional practices of saving seed are now under threat, and what that does essentially is to put corporate profit ahead of farmer’s ability to feed themselves and their communities.”
Caroline Lucas MP (Green Party) Brighton Pavilion

“They are chemical companies first and they are seed companies second. If you control the seed you control the profit from growing food.”
John Vidal
Environment Editor, The Guardian

“By controlling the seed you control the farmer, by controlling the farmer you control the whole food system. And that’s the legacy of genetic farming.”
Liz Hosken
Director of the Gaia Foundation

“It has nothing to do with feeding the world, it has nothing to do with tackling some of these huge issues we face today. It’s about control of the food sector, the food economy.”
Zac Goldsmith MP (Conservative)
Former environmental advisor to Prime Minister

“In reality it is all about stopping farmers from having their own seeds. And at the same time the eradication of independent food production. The corporations want control of food production in the hands of a very few.”
Ramon Vera Herrera
Editor GRAIN International

“The agrochemical and GM industry claims that small-scale agro ecological farming is backward and inefficient. But the reality is that in spite of the unrelenting pressures they face it is these farmers that feed 70% of the world’s population.”
Narration

“If we look at the ancestral way we find the solution to rebuild what has been destroyed.”
Mphatheleni Makaulule
Mupo Foundation, South Africa

Seeds of Freedom homepage

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51UZuxHU-IL._SY300_A Silent Forest – The Growing Threat, Genetically Engineered Trees (2009)

It’s entirely understandable that when we think about genetically modified crops finding their way into the food chain and inevitably into our own genetic makeup the first thing we’re likely to be concerned about is the effect that this technology is going to have on our health and that of our children. It’s a plain fact however that the immediate consequences for our physical integrity could be the least of our worries in this huge profit-driven experiment.

A Silent Forest is a disturbing documentary by filmmaker Ed Schehl about the dangers of genetically modified “toxic” trees. Narrated by geneticist David Suzuki, and with comments and explanation by an array of experts this film makes for uncomfortable but essential viewing.

If awareness is the key element in our rejection of this life-negating and destructive technology then  this documentary needs to be seen by as many people as possible. Pass it on!

Selected Quotes:

Biotechnologists think: genes are genes, it doesn’t matter where you stick them, and they’ll just function the way they normally do. Any geneticist who thinks about that should know better. Genes don’t function alone. They function within the context of the entire genome… it’s just a mistake to think that genes act as if their traits are expressed regardless of where they exist.”
David Suzuki

“This one gene, one protein, one trait caricature of how genetics works – that’s the whole foundation of the biotechnology industry – is a complete misrepresentation of everything we know about how genetics and complex organisms actually work.”
Brian Tokar, Director, Biotechnology Project
Institute for Social Ecology

What we’ve found through our research is that genetically engineered trees are truly the greatest threat to the worlds remaining native forest since the invention of the chainsaw.”
Anne Petermann
Co-Director
Global Justice Ecology Project

“This is about the corporate enclosure of life itself.”
Aziz Choudry
Organizer, Gatt Watchdog

 

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The Corporation (film)

The Corporation (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Corporation (2003)

Based on Joel Bakan‘s book “The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power”, and directed by Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott, this is the bigger picture – the reason why.

This eye-watering documentary looks at the history and development of the modern corporate entity, while concurrently evaluating its “personality” using a similar methodology to that of a psychiatrist evaluating a patient (in US law a corporation is seen as being a single individual with the same rights and responsibilities).

Psychopathic

Looming large throughout the film is chemical giant Monsanto. From the production of the infamous herbicide Agent Orange and its use in the Vietnam war, to the introduction of rBST/Posilac, a chemical designed to stimulate milk production, into a US market already awash with excess milk, to their creation of so-called “terminator technology” – seeds that are designed to produce a crop for one season, destroying themselves after that function has been fulfilled, Monsanto appears to epitomise the predatory, “psychopathic” species of corporate capitalism, ideologically committed to the private ownership of everything, including the essence of life itself.

Never Enough

This documentary, using an array of academics, journalists, whistleblowers, and business analysts, shows with sometimes alarming precision how and why the corporate mindset functions in the way that it does. If anything, and in light of developments during the last ten years, it is even more relevant now than it was on its release in 2003.

As filmmaker Michael Moore remarks at one point: for these corporations there’s no such thing as “enough”.

Selected quotes:

“Corporations were given the rights of persons, but then special kinds of persons; persons who had no moral conscience. These are special kinds of ‘persons’ which are designed by law to be concerned only for their stockholders.”
Noam Chomsky 

“It was more or less as if we’d created a doom machine. In our search for wealth and prosperity we’d created the thing that’s going to destroy us.”
Robert Monks
Corporate Governance Advisor

“With deregulation, privatization, free trade, what we’re seeing is yet another enclosure and private taking of the commons. One of the things I find very interesting in this debate is this concept of ‘who creates wealth’ – that wealth is only created when it’s owned privately. What would you call clean water; fresh air; a safe environment; are they not a form of wealth? And why does it only become wealth when some entity puts a fence around it and declares it private property? That’s not ‘wealth creation’, that’s wealth usurpation.”
Elaine Bernard
Executive Director, Trade Union Program, Harvard

“This is a war against evolution.”

Vandana Shiva

Environmental activist, author

The Corporation Film – the official website

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