Category: AFAC Documentary Program
Producer: Abla Khoury
Green Banks seek to capture the contradictions and ambiguities of modern seed preservation. Planting the soil with seeds, extracting coal out of mountains, escaping war in one valley, jogging in another; the camera follows radically different human engagements with the earth across two valleys, Longyearbyen in Svalbard, and the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon. An Aleppo-based agricultural research institute withdraws its backup collection of seeds from the “doomsday vault”, in the Arctic circle, and duplicates it in the Bekaa, to secure their accessibility for breeders around the world. Tracking the movement of these seeds traces a matrix of relationships entangled in the global food regime; including governments and philanthropic organizations, scientific research institutes and farmers, crops, animals and insects.