Films shown by the Marda Loop Justice Film Festival
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Films shown at 2013 Film Nights
Bitter Seeds - 2011
Director: Micha X. Peled
An epidemic of farmer suicides in India—one every 30 minutes
Bitter Seeds depicts the bleak situation for cotton farmers in India pressured to buy genetically modified (GMO) seeds from Monsanto that promise higher yields. Seed-pushers urge women to tell their husbands to “plant Bt seeds,” and to illiterate farmers, they hand out leaflets with photos and testimonials from other Indian "farmers," until against their own better judgment, the farmers inevitably succumb to the salesman's pressure.
Traditionally, Indian farmers used seeds from the previous year's crop, and fertilizer made from cow dung and compost. The film explains that the GMO seeds are designed to be sterile for only a single year's use so farmers are forced to buy new seeds every year. The GMO seeds also require expensive pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
Traditional seeds have disappeared. With no other seeds available, farmers become trapped in a cycle of debt trying to make a living growing genetically engineered crops. Many farmers have nothing to offer as collateral besides their land, so if a crop fails due to lack of rain or parasite infestation, and they can’t pay back the loans, they lose everything. Completely broke, broken, and desperate more than 250,000 farmers have killed themselves since 1995, many by drinking the pesticide they spreads on their crops.
Surviving Progress - 2012
Director: Mathieu Roy, Harold Crooks
“Every time history repeats itself the price goes up.”
Surviving Progress brings us thinkers such as Stephen Hawking, Jane Goodall, David Suzuki, Margaret
Atwood, Jim Thomas and many more who provide warnings, suggest solutions, and offer hope as to how the
dangerous path we the world is on can move towards a more sustainable future.
Inspired by Ronald Wright’s bestseller, A Short History of Progress, SURVIVING PROGRESS, exposes the
grave risks we pose to our own survival in the name of progress. The film shows how civilizations are
repeatedly seduced and destroyed by "progress traps" - alluring belief systems around human advancement
(technology, economics, consumption, and environment) that serve immediate needs, but ransom the future
with long term consequences. While there is an extraordinary range of goods and services available on the
world market, there is also increased pressure on a dwindling supply of non-renewable natural resources, a
damaged environment, a faltering global economy, and large parts of the world are demanding higher
standards of living in the face of bankrupt nations. Has the world become a victim of its own desire for
The Price of Sex - 2011
Director: Mimi Chakarova
The Price of Sex is an investigative journey into the underground sex trafficking market where young rural Eastern European women have been drawn into slavery, rape, and abuse as poverty pushes them to leave their hometowns, for survival, when promises of working abroad lead them to being sold into a world of pimps, brothels, and sex clubs. Intimate, harrowing and revealing, the Price of Sex brings Chakarova face to face with trafficked women willing to trust her and appear on film undisguised. The story told through personal accounts by the very survivors who were supposed to be silenced by shame, fear and violence.
Photojournalist Chakarova, who grew up in Bulgaria, seeks to shine light on the shadowy underbelly of globalization, give a voice to women, expose the root causes of why women continue to be sold into prostitution against their will, and examines what can be done to stop it.
Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting
Nestor Almendros Award for courage in filmmaking, Human Rights Watch Film Festival