"It's one of the best films we've seen on chemical agriculture," said festival programmer Janis Plotkin, in her introduction to the film at the Christopher B. Smith Film Center in San Rafael. "And this is the North American premiere."
|A scene from La Tierra Roja, a new feature from director Diego Martinez Vignatti|
|The love story pits the two protagonists on opposite sides of|
the fence on the pesticide issue
It is also appearing at the Nouveau Cinema festival in Montreal which had this description.
The film tells the story of a community divided - some workers have good jobs at the paper mill, which engages in slash and burn timber cutting. The government is in cahoots with the mill owners. The community opponents, who have seen the devastating effects of agrotoxics first hand, unite behind the village doctor, who sees case after case of pesticide poisoning - high rates of cancer and an unusually high number of babies born with birth defects, along with workers' respiratory illnesses and other diseases.
An all out battle between the two camps soon ensues.
|The director (center) and cast on location in Argentina|
It might send you to the internet afterwards in search of the real stories the film is based on.
To keep up with the film's releases and news, join their FB page here.
The way that pesticides have been applied in Argentina is an ongoing horror story and reminds one of earlier eras in the U.S. where huge amounts of organophosphates and Roundup were applied at much greater levels of concentration.
In a way, the film shows the progress, in comparison, that we have made since the days when Cesar Chavez fasted because he felt powerless to protect farmworkers (including vineyard workers) from the effects of the highly toxic organophosphates and other agrotoxics).
Today's wine grape growers have cutback a lot from the 1970's levels of the most toxic substances.
But, as one organic vineyard expert put it, "we've cut back on using the things that kill you right away, but wine grape growers who use chemicals [that are not approve for organic farming] are using the things that kill you over time."