Bitter Seeds


Sat, Apr 21

   3:45 / FSC

Tue, Apr 24

   8:50 / PFA

Thu, Apr 26

   6:15 / Kabuki


USA, 2011, 88 min


Micha X. Peled
Micha X. Peled
Devendra Golatkar
Leonard Feinstein
Frank Ilfman
Teddy Bear Films, 690 5th Street, Suite 102, San Francisco CA 94107. FAX: 415-357-1583. EMAIL:
TWITTER: @teddybearfilms.

Ticket info: The following screenings of this film are "At Rush": Sat Apr 21, 3:45; Thu Apr 26, 6:15

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 central 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.

—Frako Loden

Related programs
Salon: Causes and Impacts: The Threat of GMOs
Friday, April 20, 2:30 pm

Salon: Causes and Impacts: Measuring Change Through Film
Thursday, April 26, 8:30 pm

Co-presented by Pesticide Action Network

This is a Cinema by the Bay film.

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Micha X. Peled

Israeli American Micha X. Peled has deep roots in the Bay Area filmmaking community, having directed videos for the peace movement in the 1980s and documentaries while working as the executive director of Media Alliance, a San Francisco media watchdog group. He has made films about relations between Jews and Germans and between Israelis and Palestinians. For the past 12 years, Peled has worked on his globalization trilogy, which includes Store Wars: When Wal-Mart Comes to Town (SFIFF 2001) and China Blue (2005). Store Wars won the San Francisco International Film Festival’s Golden Gate Award.