That the multinational corporations dominating agribusiness have been using their might to threaten the existence of rural inhabitants and local farmers worldwide is not exactly news. But the growth of indigenous protest movements against the corporate behemoths may still be. Bettina Borgfeld and David Bernet’s cogent documentary uses the example of Paraguay to vividly capture the resistance being offered by the campesinos against the move by big agribusiness to supplant local, subsistence farming with money-making genetically modified soy.
Emerging as a plainspoken yet eloquent stakeholder in the film is Geronimo, a family man and traditional farmer whose meagre plot is completely surrounded by soy plantations. As we see his daily routine and his poor family, he explains that the pesticides used on the soy—which the soy is immune to—are destroying the traditional crops he needs to raise in order to feed his family. Seeing no other way to make their points, Geronimo and his fellow campesinos squat a section of farmland, try to stop the spraying of pesticides and raise their voices in the media.
Borgfeld and Bernet capture all of this, while also allowing screen time to representatives of the big landowners. It is obvious that Geronimo and his fellow farmers have a long road ahead of them, but every journey begins with a first step…