Part of our Science of Cinema series. This series is designed to pair thought-provoking films, old and new, with insightful contextual discussions with local experts and academics to create illuminating and entertaining programming that will bring the exciting world of science alive on the big screen.
Science of Cinema is sponsored by Research Corporation for the Advancement of Science, with special advising by the UA College of Science and the UA College of Social & Behavioral Sciences.
Featuring a post-film Q&A with local seed experts including Belle Starr and Bill McDorman, former Native Seeds/SEARCH Directors, founders of Seed School (featured in the film) and creators of Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance; Jeau Allen of the Southwest Seed Exchange and Aravaipa Heirlooms; George Bradley of the Southwest Seed Exchange and the San Pedro Seed Exchange; Lynda Prim, Conservation Farm Manager at Native Seeds/SEARCH!
One of the world’s most precious resources is at risk. This timely and dramatic new documentary illuminates what is at stake and what can be done to protect the source of nearly all our food: SEEDS. They provide the basis for everything from fabric, to food to fuels. Seeds are as essential to life as the air we breathe or water we drink … but given far less attention. According to the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN), approximately 90 percent of the fruit and vegetable varieties that existed 100 years ago no longer exist today. Heritage grain is near extinction. Seeds that were lovingly nurtured over decades or even hundreds of years have been lost forever. Maintaining seed biodiversity allows us to breed new varieties that are resistant to pests or thrive in temperature extremes. This is essential in a changing climate. Meanwhile, corporations are co-opting seed genetics using patent law. In the past, seeds were communal. They were a shared resource not unlike the water we drink or the air we breathe. One hundred years ago things started to change. Today, corporate-owned seed accounts for 82% of the world-wide market. In Open Sesame: The Story of Seeds, viewers will meet a diverse range of individuals whose lives center around seeds: Farmers. Renegade gardeners. Passionate seed savers. Artists. Seed activists. The film tells the story of seeds by following their challenges and triumphs as they work to save this precious resource. It’s not too late … yet. Featuring author and environmental activist Vandana Shiva. (Dir. by Sean Kaminsky, 2014, USA, 90 mins., Not Rated, Open Pollinated Productions) Digital