Wild Relatives

The struggle to secure remnants of agriculture, and of humanity.

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.

Palestinian artist and director Jumana Manna connects these very different geological locations, through reflecting on the political, economical, religious and human implications of exchanging this ecologic currency. She exposes the complex web of scientists, farmers and refugees uniting in their common goal of securing the continuation of agriculture through threats like war and climate disaster. A poetic, thoughtful, and exquisite ode to humanity’s relationship to ur planet, and to each other.

Biologist Åsmund Asdal from NordGen will do a short introduction outlining the work of the Global Seed Vault ahead of the screening on Saturday 17 August.
The film itself does not represent the politics of the Global Seed Vault, nor ICARDA.
You can read more about director Jumana Manna’s reflections on the topic in this essay

  • Program
  • Original title
    Wild relatives
  • Director
    Jumana Manna
  • Producer
    Jumana Manna, Elisabeth Kleppe
  • Photo
    Marte Vold
  • Playtime
    1 h 5 min
  • Year
    2017
  • Country
    Germany, Lebanon, Norway
  • Age limit
    12
  • Production
    Aldeles AS