With industrial agriculture seemingly thriving in India, why have a staggering 250,000 farmers committed suicide in the past 16 years? In Telung Takli documentarian Micha X. Peled traces the roots of this epidemic to an all-too-familiar villain: biotech giant Monsanto. Furthermore, he discovers that he’s not the only investigator on the case. Also seeking answers (and solutions) is aspiring journalist Manjusha Amberwar. Having lived through her father taking his own life, she now wants to stop other farmers—including her distraught uncle—from meeting an identical fate. Her quest not only requires her to knock on doors but also to break through India’s glass ceiling for women.
After his scathing exposés of big box retailers (Store Wars: When Wal-Mart Comes to Town) and sweatshops (China Blue), Peled completes his "globalization trilogy" with a film that’s not only a stirring piece of investigative journalism but also a gripping life and death drama.
"The crisis depicted in Bitter Seeds is all the more dire when you consider that half the world’s population are farmers. Peled could have turned his cameras… to any place that industrial agriculture has driven out the little guys. One reason the tiny Indian community of Telung Takli makes sense is Amberwar—a compelling central character whose personal story raises additional issues about gender, class and non-farming employment opportunities." Peter Debruge, Variety
“Films like this can change the world.” Alice Waters
“A tragedy for our times, beautifully told, deeply disturbing.” Michael Pollan