A Series of 3 Programs
The Globalization Trilogy
Micha X. Peled's groundbreaking series explores the production-consumption chain, from cotton grown with GMOs in India used to make the jeans in Chinese sweatshops that are sold in Wal-Marts across the U.S.
Directed by Micha X. Peled
Produced by Teddy Bear Films
Co-Productions of Teddy Bear Films and the Independent Television Service (ITVS) with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).
Comprised of three documentaries from director Micha X. Peled and Teddy Bear Films, The Globalization Trilogy puts a human face on complex issues resulting from global economic forces that are shaping life today worldwide. The trilogy aims to generate debate about public policy and consumer choices regarding these issues.
"Films like this can change the world." Alice Waters, owner Chez Panisse, author and activist
Featuring memorable characters and compelling stories, the films have enjoyed wide distribution. The films won 20 international awards, aired on over 30 television channels and screened in more than 100 film festivals. They were distributed theatrically in Europe, U.S. and Japan, and were released on DVDs in seven languages. They are often used in schools, by NGOs and community groups.
The films are:
Store Wars: When Wal-Mart Comes to Town (2001)
China Blue (2005)
Bitter Seeds (2011)
Store Wars: When Wal-Mart Comes to Town focused on consumerism in the U.S. China Blue investigated the sweatshop labor conditions in the manufacturing of the clothes we all buy. Bitter Seeds looks at the raw materials - the crisis of the farmers in India who are growing the cotton exported to China's garment factories to be used for the clothes sold in the West. Each film explores deeper layers down the production-consumption chain, always featuring strong story-telling and stunning cinematography up front and center.
Grade Level: 7-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2012
Copyright Date: 2001
DVD ISBN: 1-93777-214-4
"Bitter Seeds is a rare opportunity to enter into the lives of third world farmers, if even for a moment. We see their love for the land and each other, and with them, we face their bitter reality. Other films have told us parts of this story, but Bitter Seeds shows us how GMOs are destroying an ancient way of life along with the hopes and dreams of generations of farmers. I'll never forget the story of Ram Krishna. This film will change both how we see the problem of GMO agriculture and, more deeply, how we see the lives of those most affected."
Claire Hope Cummings, Author, Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds
"Films like this can change the world."
Alice Waters, owner Chez Panisse, author and activist
"A profoundly moving film...A must-see to understand the plight of the farming community, not only in India today, but a growing and widening problem of global scale. Consumers around the globe have the choice to end this scandal in their hands, by deciding what they buy and from whom. Pride and sanity can be brought back to the number one human activity: nourish the people and nurture the earth, a farmer's job well done."
Dr. Hans R. Herren, President, The Millennium Institute
"A tragedy for our times."
Michael Pollan, Knight Professor of Journalism, University of California, Berkeley, author The Omnivore's Dilemma
"China Blue lends itself to sparking classroom discussion because the story it tells is both crystal-clear and complex. The camera team got amazing access, so we feel in touch with what is real. And as a result, there are no bad guys. Everyone is trying to survive and succeed. Where is it in the system -- that starts with a factory in China and ends with us as consumers -- that the problems we see are going to be fixed?"
Andrew Nathan, Chair, Dept. of Political Science Dept., Columbia University
"The Best Documentary of Toronto 2005? Micha Peled's China Blue, a heartbreaking, truly unforgettable 'cinema verite' stay with two teenage girls employed in a Chinese bluejean factory. It's even worse than the news stories, the exploitation, degradation, and downright slavery of millions of Chinese peasants who have traveled to the cities looking for work."
Gerald Peary, The Boston Phoenix
"China Blue makes a stronger case against worker exploitation than any news item could... Surprising access and intimacy."
"China Blue puts a human face on the contentious issue of 'cheap Chinese labor.' It shows us the links between the rural and urban areas, the farms and factories in China. Although the work is grueling and bosses often unscrupulous, we do see that the young workers who migrate to the burgeoning industrial zones have unprecedented opportunities to meet people from elsewhere in China, learn about city life and global popular culture. The film makes an excellent tool for stimulating classroom discussion on a broad range of topics impacting not only China, but the rest of the world as well."
Thomas B. Gold, Chair, Dept. of Sociology, UC-Berkeley and Director, Berkeley China Initiative
"This film, with a suspense and narrative abillity unusual in a documentary, tells with exceptional precision and humour about the battle of a typical small, prosperous and tranquil little town against the arrival of a giant."
Buenos Aires International Film Festival Program
"This excellent program uses a David vs. Goliath scenario -- small-town citizens versus corporate behemoth -- to offer an engaging rendering of a placid community enlivened by political action."
Julie Salamon, New York Times
"The video provides a human perspective that is missing from textbooks. It's very well researched and balanced. I look forward to using it in my classes."
A. Bruce Dotson, Chair, Department of Urban and Environmental Planning, University of Virginia
Store Wars is closed captioned for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. China Blue includes additional scenes, study guide, factory promo film, Q & A with the director, photo gallery, and links to activist organizations. Bitter Seeds includes a Teaching Guide, FAQ and Footnote materials, SDH captioning for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, and scene selection.
Bullfrog Films clip
Al Norman's Sprawl-Busters web site
Bullfrog Films clip
Awards and Festivals
BITTER SEEDS (Selected)
Green Screen Award, IDFA Amsterdam
Global Justice Award, OXFAM Novib
Telluride Film Festival
CHINA BLUE (Selected)
Audience Award Winner, PBS Independent Lens
Silver Chris Award, Columbus International Film & Video Festival
Amnesty Human Rights Award, International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA)
Award of Excellence, Society for Visual Anthropology, American Anthropological Association
STORE WARS (Selected)
Golden Gate Award, San Francisco International Film Festival
Gold Plaque, Chicago International Television Competition
CINE Golden Eagle
The final film in Micha X. Peled's Globalization Trilogy examines the epidemic of suicides amongst India's cotton farmers, deeply in debt after switching to genetically modified seeds.
A clandestinely shot, deep-access account of how the clothes we buy are actually made.
Looks at the impact on a small town when Wal-Mart plans to build a mega-store there.
... more Reviews
"The year-long battle roughly reflects a larger cultural clash between homespun American values and cold corporate homogeneity...Palpable drama and suspense as a lame-duck Town Council gathers for its vote."
San Francisco Chronicle
"This story has been told in towns across the United States for many years, but rarely has it been told with as much clarity and verve."
Tim Feran, Columbus Dispatch
"What chance does a small town have in a battle against a huge corporation? This engrossing film details the animosity and taut political intrigue sparked by Wal-Mart's saturation retail strategy in an unenthusiastic community."
Timothy McGettigan, Professor of Sociology, University of Southern Colorado