April 11, 2015 § Leave a comment
I’m working on a documentary called Toxification, in collaboration with filmmaker friend Leva Kwestany and producer J.U. Rhodian. It’s our first time working together, and my first overseas film. We filmed for three weeks, and I’ve never felt more in my element.
India’s prosperous Green Revolution was led by Punjab, a state in northern India famous for its lush rice fields and wet, fertile soil. But as farmers are conned into buying more and more pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers that they don’t need, which demand often ten times more water, the water table is sinking at an alarming rate. Punjab’s water has been poisoned by the chemicals, and the famers poison their bodies with opium, helping them to work longer and harder. Loans from a middleman are taken out, with extortionate interest rates that are impossible to pay back. As a result, hundreds of Punjabi families are left without a father, husband or son as more and more farmers cave in under the pressure and drink their own chemicals to end their lives.
I took some portraits, too:
see more at http://www.rehmatrayatt.com/toxification