Past screening

Bitter Seeds

Directed by: Micha X. Peled
Runtime: 1hr 27min Year: 2011
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Directed by: Micha X. Peled
Runtime: 1hr 27min Year: 2011
Country: United States, India
Last Screened: Thu 28th Jun 2012

India has more farmers than any country in the world, and they are in a crisis that is unprecedented in human history.

Forced into debt by genetically modified farming, vast numbers of Indian farmers are committing suicide by swallowing insecticide, but one brave fatherless daughter has had enough and wants some answers.

In Bitter Seeds, director Micha X. Peled headed to a small Indian rural community to follow likeable Manjusha Amberwar, who wants be a journalist. Her first assignment is to explain why 250,000 farmers have committed suicide in the past 16 years – including her father. Her uncle is trying to grow cotton from genetically modified, non-renewable seeds with expensive fertilizers and insecticides. Past generations used conventional seeds and cowdung, but these have been phased out and farmers have no choice but to buy the Monsanto-produced seeds. The expense forces her uncle and many others into the hands of money-lenders, and if a crop fails, the farmers are forced into poverty.

Amberwar’s very personal journey is moving and powerful, and through it we see problems of globalization, and the real lives behind India’s tragic suicide statistics.