Posted by Melanie Nathan, June 04, 2013.
China Blue, is one of three movies being screened from Bay Area filmmaker, Micha Peled’s Globalization Trilogy. The film will be playing at the Rafael on Wednesday, June 5 at 7:00. China Blue focuses on teenager Jasmin Li, who leaves her home to work in a far-away blue jeans factory. This gives audiences a close-up look of what international retail companies don’t want us to see – how the clothes we buy are actually made. Micha Peled will be at the Rafael to do a Q&A after the screening of the film.
Based in Mill Valley and San Francisco Peled produces documentaries that tackle provocative and significant world issues, including films he made in his native Israel. With Bitter Seeds, Peled has completed a “Globalization Trilogy” that consumed more than a decade of work and occasional great risk. The trilogy puts a human face on complex issues resulting from global economic forces shaping life today. Recently Bitter Seeds won the 2013 Cinema for Peace International Green Award, given annually during the Berlin Film Festival, as well as the International Documentary Association’s Humanitas Award.
Micha Peled’s career has been varied with stints as an importer of hammocks and sheepskin jackets, a tutor, a prison guard, a freelance journalist, a director of the Nuclear Freeze Campaign and the executive director of Media Alliance, a media watchdog group in San Francisco. He also guided adventure trips in the jungles of Thailand and Brazil.
Peled’s first documentary, Will My Mother Go Back to Berlin? looked at relations between Jews and Germans 50 years after the Holocaust through his personal family story. Winning awards on both sides of the Atlantic, Peled left his job to become a full-time filmmaker. His next film, Inside God’s Bunker, followed a group of extremist Israeli settlers in the West Bank during a highly tense period that culminated in a massacre. It aired on television in Europe, Australia, the United States and Japan. You, Me, Jerusalem was the first Israeli-Palestinian co-directed film, which Peled also produced. It followed an ambulance team comprised of both Israelis and Arabs, which responded to emergencies in both sides of the capital.
Next came the ITVS-funded STORE WARS: When Wal-Mart Comes to Town, which followed one southern town’s struggle to decide whether to allow Wal-Mart to build a mega-store there. STORE WARS won a number of awards, including Best Documentary at the San Francisco International Film Festival and the CINE Golden Eagle. It was nominated for the IDA (International Documentary Association) Distinguished Achievement Pare Lorenz Award. Along the way, Peled has also produced numerous television magazine items for broadcasters in the U.S., Germany and France, and authored a slim volume of fiction, The Fisherman and the Nymph.
The other two films screening are
Filmmaker Micha Peled in Person
Sunday, June 2, 7:00
Sunday, June 9, 7:00 (followed by panel discussion)
Screened in its Marin Premiere, Bitter Seeds focuses on the tragedy of impoverished cotton farmers in central India, forced to abandon renewable seeds for Monsanto-engineered hybrids, raising questions about the human cost of genetically modified agriculture. The film follows a young woman, Manjusha Amberwar, studying to be a journalist so she can help stop a trend that claimed her father and threatens her uncle. Michael Pollan calls it “a tragedy for our times, beautifully told and deeply disturbing,” and Alice Waters said, “Films like this can change the world.” Director: Micha X. Peled. (US 2011) 88 min. plus discussion.Store Wars: When Walmart Comes to Town on Sunday, June 9 at 4:00.