Wild Relatives

Official film description

Deep in the earth beneath the Norwegian permafrost, seeds from all over the world are stored in the Global Seed Vault to provide a backup should disaster strike. For the first time ever, seeds held there from a major gene bank in Aleppo are now being replicated, after its holdings were left behind when the institution had to move to Lebanon due to the civil war. It is refugees from Syria who are carrying out this painstaking work in the fields of the Beqaa Valley. In the Levant, dry conditions and the power of global agricultural corporations are the biggest challenge, while in the Arctic Circle - where the seed vault was supposed to withstand anything - it is rising temperatures and melting glaciers.

Notes on the film

Beautifully filmed documentary in which the viewer has to use his imagination to correctly understand the loosely linked scenes. However, a little more background information and context would have done the film some good.

Further reviews

"Wild Relatives" is a humbling, meditative exploration of the inherent goodwill of man as well as the dark violence he is capable of. – The Upcoming

The film is trim at 70 minutes and, almost inevitably, this leaves us wanting more detail on certain things. – Eye for Film

Technical information and screening rights...

Director(s): Jumana Manna
Script: Jumana Manna
Production: Jumana Manna, Elisabeth Kleppe
Year: 2017
Duration: 66 min
Picture format: 16:9
Language (audio): English, Arabic, Norwegian
Language (subtitles): English
Country of origin: Germany, Norway, Lebanon
Shooting Locations: Norway, Lebanon
Our age recommendation: 16
Screening rights: Jumana Manna ()


Main topic(s): Genetic Engineering + Seeds
Secondary topics: biodiversity
Mentions: crops seeds database farming Global Seed Vault genes gene bank climate change soil refugees
Topic Page(s): Genetic Engineering + Seeds

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