Bitter Seeds, a Documentary on GMO Cotton Farming, Premieres in New York

Bitter Seeds, a documentary film by Micha X. Peled, is showing during the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in New York, NY on June 22 at 6:30 pm.

Written by: Andy Meyers,  Working Films Campaign Coordinator

"A tragedy for our times, beautifully told and deeply disturbing." – Michael Pollan


This award winning documentary looks at the production-consumption chain of genetically engineered Bt cotton grown in India and the resulting epidemic of farmer suicides – which occur at the alarming rate of one every 30 minutes. The story is lead by Manjusha Amberwar, a young journalist, whose own father ended his life after growing Bt cotton. She investigates the cause of this epidemic, and hopes to draw attention to the plight of farmers and bring an end to this tragedy.

Featuring strong story-telling, stunning cinematography and memorable characters, the film gives viewers new education on GMO seeds and insight on the global ambitions of Monsanto. In its International premiere at IDFA (Amsterdam), the world’s most important documentary film festival, Bitter Seeds won two awards: The Oxfam Global Justice Award and the Green Screen Competition Award. The film also won the Green Film Festival Jury Award in Seoul, South Korea.

A recent Filmmaker Magazine article on Bitter Seeds leads with outreach potential, tying it to the on-line viral petition campaigns against Monsanto. Filmmaker underscores the importance of taking the film to crucial and tactical audiences: “Bitter Seeds is among the most subtle and artful condemnations of the food industry’s Darth Vader. The end result is an indictment of the agricultural biotech industry tightly wrapped within a gripping character-based narrative.”

This New York premiere of Bitter Seeds will be screened at 6:30 pm on June 22, at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater. After the screening, join the film’s director, Micha Peled, along with The International Program Director of The Center for Food Safety, Debi Barker, in a Q&A about the issues of GMOs both internationally and locally.

Details and ticket sales can be found here.

For more information about the event screening, contact:

Andy Myers, Working Films Campaign Coordinator

Working Films US: 602 South Fifth Avenue, Wilmington, NC 28401
UK: Firth Street, Soho, London W1D 4SQ

(910) 342-9000

  1. This is so excellent. As a stdneut of acroecology, future organic farmer, and a citizen of Earth, I thank you so much for your coming together and standing up for the future of our food, the rights of the family farmer, the rights of the consumer, and the rights of all other life on this planet that are and will be infringed upon by Monsanto’s irresponsible technology. ~Farmer Chlo

    • Chuffed.. My gardens awmsoe.. and i havnt paid for a thing.. besides the occasional One Pound’ shop purchase which i usually just take any way.. oh i forgot was holding that.. -Which is my first way of getting free seeds. Then there’s collecting the seeds from them from the very source.. ie.the flowers, fruit, root and vege which they are!- where there’s Markets and fruit shops theses always a bin out back (or front on garage night) shop keepers don’t usually mind if you ask for their waste either.. i tell them its for my animals. In particular tomatoes, pumpkins and peppers (definitely!), apples, avacardo, carrots (tops), potatoes (all sorts are easy!),citrus, peas, beans.. in fact i cant think of anything that hasn’t worked.. I even have a coconut palm (from a coconut !). Dry the seeds out by wrapping them in newspaper and putting somewhere warm. I put mine on top of the water-boiler. It takes from about a week for say chillies pepper or mandarin seeds to a couple of months, for say date or avacardo. -city style wild-crafting! Then of course germinate them. Quality compost is pretty essential here, the difference compared to using low quality dirt makes a couple of quid worth it. However i find there’s often broken packages of kids craft type grow kits in the shops from which you take the compost tabs that expand in water. when they’re little take them outside for short periods, get them used to the weather and temperature. Morning sun though the window, then outside till the evening then warm at night under the boiler is what i do. Then i transplant them straight into the ground..thirdly.. for The Window box! for herbs and lettuce, its an amazing place. More often now fresh lettuce and herbs is sold in pots -with roots!- from the supermarket. ( i get mine from the compost bin after my flatmates have used the other parts) leeks, spring-oinion, chives, yams, spinach.. any vege sold with roots basically- sometimes even fancy cabbage too.. obviously..plant these! but usually in well drained soil..I have a baby cherry tree and apple. Both these grew from seeds i collect from a nearby attolment. Which has turned out to be my fourth great source of free seeds! The old people there are great, I visit regulary, loads of advice and happy to share their seeds, bulbs, cutting..Its been a real joy,m and i think they like my keen interst.My goal was mostly for a totally recycled garden ie fences, beds, furniture.. its a bit of an addiction. But really if you compare a pound a pound of beams or tommy, or spud, ie. one family meal to a31.30 a packet of twenty, fifty or a hundred! seeds.- In my success- essentially each bean seed has given well over nine times one supermarket purchase. One potato has given me up to eight more potatoes, I now have fresh herbs and fancy lettuce all the time! and will NEVER have to buy tommy again! Its been an awesome project,I am thinking Id like to start a seed exchange sometime.

    • SELF SEEDINGIf you are lucky enough to visit a pnsrtiie rainforest you will probably be awestruck by the towering canopy. However, the future of the rainforest lies in the soil in the form of seeds – tiny cells of life waiting for their opportunity to prosper. If we are going to create an ecological garden then we have to make sure it too, has a future. By allowing some plants to go to seed, we can build up seed stores, just like the rainforest. And like the rainforest, we should aim to have thousands of seeds of many varieties spread right across our plot. Most of these seeds will never germinate because in the ecological garden the niche spaces are so tightly filled that opportunities for new life are limited.

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