Documentarian M. Sean Kaminsky follows organic farmers and seed archivists from Canada, India, and the U.S. as they try to keep the knowledge and diversity of seed culture alive. These farmers and educators know that now is the time to step in and protect the seeds that are under siege from giant corporations like Monsanto and their genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

In 1982, Monsanto planted its first GMO, and since they have very successfully sold their product everywhere they can with the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimating that 94% of soy and 88% of corn in the U.S. is GMO.

Seeds play a more integral part in our diet than one might think. According to a statistic from the documentary, upwards of 90% of our caloric intake is from seeds, both directly and indirectly. No wonder Monsanto wants to get in on that racket. No wonder these people are pissed off. Watching this movie, you might wonder, “Why aren’t there more?” 

Instead of organic patents and corporations, the farmers of Open Sesame want an open-source movement based on the success of open-source software that enforces sharing over monopolization. Each person holding themselves accountable and taking matters into their own hands can achieve this. Open Sesame remains optimistic that someday, David will slay Goliath.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Open Sesame: The Story of Seeds (2014)
Produced and directed by M. Sean Kaminsky
Open Pollinated Productions, Not rated, Running time 82 minutes, Opened April 22, 2014

The version of the above review first appeared in the pages of Boulder Weekly Vol. 22, No. 45, “Grapes and seeds.”