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IDFA - Seed: The Untold Story

A celebration of the vitality, diversity and beauty of seeds, and a warning against the powerful forces that threaten this rich heritage.

Seeds are perhaps our most precious commodity, but many are as endangered as the polar bear or the panda. In the 20th century, 94 percent of our seed varieties disappeared. One example cited by the avid seed collectors in this film shows the kind of catastrophe this loss can cause: the Irish Potato Famine in the mid-19th century came about because most of the potatoes grown were of a single variety. Lack of diversity means greater vulnerability, the collectors unanimously agree. They show that nature finds its own solutions for extreme weather conditions. There’s even an edible plant that can go for three years without water.

Their enthusiasm for the wonders of seeds and plants is infectious, and the beautifully lit close-ups of the most unusual specimens are stunning. From the perspective of victims and adversaries, we see how a company like Monsanto, with its patents, monoculture and pesticides, can endanger this rich heritage and the health of farmers, rural people and consumers. The power the company wields is evident from the senior political positions that some of its employees have held.