“A profound meditation on resilience in an era defined by displacement, climate change, and war.”—Film Society of Lincoln Center
This remarkable essay film by Palestinian filmmaker and artist Jumana Manna starts by documenting the Svalbard Global Seed Vault before spiraling off to cover all manner of related complexities. The primary Global Seed Vault, on an island off the coast of Norway, stores backup copies of the world’s diversity of plant species in case one of the thousands of smaller gene banks scattered across the planet are ever destroyed (whether by natural disaster or man-made catastrophe).
The latter scenario nearly plays out in Aleppo with the escalation of the Syrian Civil War, and the city’s seed bank is moved back to Norway before ultimately being replanted in Lebanon. In "Wild Relatives," Manna skillfully articulates the connections between this international initiative and its local implementation in order to raise subtle questions about even larger political and ecological issues.
(66 mins., DCP)