Emmy-winning filmmaker Cyrus Sutton has made a film titled Island Earth which is, according to Modern Farmer pitched as being a movie about the complicated ways of farming in Hawaii. The film is said to highlight ancient, regenerative farming methods as a means of the island state to reduce the amount of food it imports and a way to allegedly present better farming methods than the manner in which food is produced now.
The movie looks like it is a way to make the case for a new so-called Slow Food movement with elements of anti-GMO rhetoric thrown in. One can tell by this quote in Modern Farmer, where Sutton says:
I used to live in San Diego where the main character of the film, Cliff Kapono, is getting his PhD in chemistry and where he got his Masters degree in biotechnology. I was surfing with him and he was telling me about being groomed to work for these chemical companies. He’s got an insider perspective on it both as a native Hawaiian and active member of the Hawaiian community, and as somebody who was on track to work for these kinds of companies.
What is also of concern is the description of movie’s Quickstarter page reveals Sutton’s potential bias:
I don’t think we’re going to get very far in the conversation if we villainize a specific technology, but I am deeply concerned by our society’s deployment of those [GMO] technologies. These companies hold up niche applications of GMO technology, like golden rice or the GMO papaya, as potentially feeding the world, but the vast majority of its use is to create resistance to proprietary blends of chemicals, and this is all being tested in Hawaii. as a storyteller, I needed to cut through that greenwashing and let people know what’s actually going on.
If Sutton denies the movie is about GMO’s or biotechnology he may have littered the movie with anti-GMO sentiments anyway. This is another attempt by environmentalists to try to outline a new vision of how food can be produced. In reality, it is a way to pitch for ancient farming methods that harken back to prehistoric days. This while slyly taking pot shots at enhanced food production such as biotechnology and even pesticide use.
ReasonTV covered the controversy over GMO foods in Hawaii three years ago when laws and ballot initiatives were passed to restrict or outlaw their production. You will get more value out of this nine minute video than Sutton’s 63 minute hatchet job.