Genre: Documentary
Directed by: Riccardo Russo Year: 2009
Duration: 52 ‘ | Format: DV SP
Partner: DERHUMHALC, International Festival of Human Rights Cinema in Buenos Aires
Language: Italian / Spanish
Production: Esplorare la metropoli

The world demand for soy has grown incredibly in the last ten years. The advent of the “mad cow” phenomenon in Europe, the China economic opening, the oil crisis and the biotechnology industry’s innovations have contributed to the explosion of the international trade in genetically modified soybean, which is now produced in the South of the World to be consumed in northern countries as fodder, as a basic ingredient in the food industry or in the near future in the form of biodiesel.

The documentary describes the social and environmental effects of the uncontrolled progress of soy monoculture in the countries of the Southern region of Latin America, and does so through the precious testimonies of indigenous leaders, landless peasants, new inhabitants of urban suburbs, environmentalists and intellectuals.

The meeting with the characters takes place during the description of the production cycle and the long journey of soybeans through the regions where the advancement of monoculture is attacking biodiversity, where the rural population loses access to land and along the routes of the mass exodus that makes the marginal areas of the South American metropolis bigger and bigger. Leaving South America, the soy road continues through the Atlantic Ocean and reaches Europe where it is processed in the food industry or in large industrial farms where undergoes the transformation into meat which then reaches the tables of consumers. Through no fault of their own, European consumers are accomplices unaware of the South American ecocide.

The South American characters tell tragic events of violation of human rights, of procured water and people poisoning, of usurpation of the lands and murderous actions of paramilitary bands, but the focus of the work is concentrated above all on the proposals emerging from the indigenous and peasant society for solutions, the recovery of native seeds and the defence of food sovereignty. The invitation to European consumers to stop the importation of GM soybeans is highlighted to break the grip that is stiffling the South American population.