I had never heard of Micha X. Peled until yesterday, and today I found myself exchanging emails with someone called Max from his company.
Micha Peled is a film maker. Obviously of some repute. The man has won a series of awards, but in my ivory tower of cakes and fondant figures, I had never heard of him.
But a couple of days back S and I were at the T Club having lunch. We were surrounded by clinking cutlery and muted conversations, waiters gliding smoothly between tables and the TV playing soundlessly in the background.
And suddenly our attention was riveted to the TV screen. There was an interview in progress, on farmer suicides in Vidarbha, Maharashtra. S and I followed it, thinking it was a documentary. The story slowly emerged about a young 18 year old girl who was interviewing the families of dead farmers. A courageous young girl who was motivated to discover the “whys” after her father committed suicide.
The little I saw moved me so much, that I sat there in a puddle of tears. When I got home I googled “Bitter Seeds” and found this trailer. I also found that Peled had made a Trilogy.
In his words:
” The Globalization Trilogy has three films. The first focuses on consumerism in the United States. It’s a story about Wal-Mart trying to get into a small town, and the residents of that town organizing to stop the largest retail company in the world from coming in. The second looks at how the cheap goods that Wal-Mart sells are made. So that took us to China, and it’s the story of one girl who has to leave her village to get a job, and ends up in a jeans factory where she descends into sweatshop hell. The third one takes us to the raw materials. I filmed this in India, in an area of cotton growers where their harvest gets exported to China’s garment factories where they make the jeans that Wal-Mart sells. So that’s the connection between the three. And in each step we found the globalization angle, where a Western corporation is dominating the lives of everyday people somewhere far away.”
I am waiting to watch these films and hope to share them with others.