Production & Creative Team:
Taggart Siegel-Director, Jon Betz -Director
Marisa Tomei-Executive Producer, Marc Turtletaub-Executive Producer, Phil Fairclough-Executive Producer
Seeds are the beginning of most, if not all, plant life on earth, especially the plants that we rely on for survival and sustenance. Once upon a time there were hundreds of plant species and varieties. Unfortunately, as humans began doing less subsistence farming during the industrial revolution, crop variety and species gradually declined. There are many plants that are now extinct; many will follow that same path unless more people pay attention to agriculture and seed preservation. This is the subject matter tackled in the documentary SEED: The Untold Story, screened at the 2016 Planet in Focus Film Festival.
Plants have been a part of human life since the dawn of time. They have provided for our every need. They occupy spiritual, emotional, economic, and religious significance in the lives of many. The contents of a seed are like a record of the past. They contain genetic information from plants that existed millions of years ago. Much like humans, that genetic information is passed on through reproduction and propagation. A decline in the variety of plants means that generations of trees, fruits, nuts, berries, and vegetables are lost forever. The age of the industrial revolution, corporate agriculture, seed patenting, deforestation, and an increase in dairy farming have all combined to create disastrous affects on nature and plant variety.
In order to combat this, countries, organizations, groups, and individuals have created what is known as seed banks. Seed banks are buildings, crates, and containers that house hundreds of seed varieties. They are classified, quantified, catalogued, and preserved for safe keeping and for future generations. Seed banks are necessary because in our society, most farmers only plant a fraction of the plant varieties that actually still exist.
In addition to seed banks, there are farmers, scholars, and enthusiast who travel around the world in order to discover and research new crops for human consumption. As our world population increases, there is a need to find ways to adequately sustain everyone.
SEED: The Untold Story is a riveting documentary that is educational and also serves as a cautionary tale. It is well produced and directed, which is evident in the way all the sights, sounds, and information flow in a coherent pattern. This film is a must see, especially for those interested in environmental issues and agriculture.