Back to All Events

WILD RELATIVES (2018) - Presented by Wavelength


Winner of the New:Vision Award at CPH-DOX and the Environmental Award at Sheffield Doc/Fest, Wild Relatives is a reflection on biodiversity and resilience that charts the astonishing story of seed preservation in the face of war and climate change.

Deep in the earth beneath Arctic permafrost, seeds from all over the world are stored in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault to provide a backup in the case of disaster. Wild Relatives starts from an event that has sparked media interest worldwide: when, in 2012, an international agricultural research centre was forced to relocate from Aleppo to Lebanon due to the Syrian civil war, it had to undergo the labourious process of planting its entire seed collection from the Svalbard back-ups.

Wild Relatives follows the path of this transaction of seeds between the Arctic and Lebanon, a matrix of human and non-human lives between these two points: one a large-scale international initiative, the other a local implementation in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon, carried out mainly by young migrant women.

Capturing the intertwining of traditional and modern preservation techniques and transnational exchanges, Wild Relatives teases out tensions between the state and the individual, industrial and organic approaches to seed saving, climate change and biodiversity, witnessed through the seeds' journey.

Presented by Wavelength

F: facebook/wavelengthdocs
T: @wavelengthdocs

With thanks to Jumana Manna


  • year. 2018


  • run-time. 66min

£6.00 (£4.50 conc.)

Doors 7PM

Film 7.30PM

Jumana Manna’s work shifts between sculpture and film, body and land, narrative and form. The Berlin-based Palestinian artist’s archive-stirring and essayic films meditate on forgotten histories relating to her country of origin, often combined with a personal narrative.
— Bomb Magazine
The subtle, slow-burning intelligence of Manna’s film lies in the way she gently holds up the best of intentions against quiet but forceful evidence that suggests baser motives and more troubling consequences.
— Art Forum
A meditation on the sociopolitical resonance of cross-cultural efforts in environmental studies and in agriculture... her ability to reveal a story’s multiple facets, and surprising political undertones, remains striking... Like Emily Dickinson, Manna catches the truth aslant.
— Reverse Shot
An impressive film... an intellectual, insightful and intensely well researched project that effectively and unpretentiously combines an artist’s approach with a documentary method.... complexity, sensitivity and precision
— Senses of Cinema
This is not a Hollywood disaster film starring Dwayne Johnson; there are no explosions or post-apocalyptic landscapes. Wild Relatives is a humbling, meditative exploration of the inherent goodwill of man as well as the dark violence he is capable of. Part documentary, part fictional recreation, Wild Relatives offers a stirring insight into a fascinating initiative.
— The Upcoming