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The Leech and the Earthworm

Funded by The Ford Foundation and screened on Maori TV, the film takesĀ its title from a prescient folk tale of natural misinformation and explores the murky world of genetic sampling, engineering and ownership and its explicit links to a far from dormant colonialism.

Focusing on the economic, ethical and legal issues around exploitation of blood samples from first-nation islanders in Oceania, the film uses impressionistic image collages, effective scoring, archive footage and creative graphics to trace a centuries-old lineage of abuse and to argue for an alternative, interdependent worldview based on collaboration and ancient wisdom. Ambitious and provocative, the film is a welcome and timely search for values and worth in a desert of corporate sprawl.

It inspires audiences to ask serious questions of the collective illusion we call ‘progress’ sendingĀ a powerful message about the need for indigenous peoples to shift the focus of resistance away from reacting to the arguments of the biotech promoters. Instead, they should be reclaiming their own arguments and finding their own ways to restore the health of their communities.