DER Documentary

Seed and Earth

launch preview watch a preview

by Lina Fruzzetti, Alfred Guzzetti, Ned Johnston & Ákos Östör
color, 36 min, 1995

Non-profit, K-12, and Individual pricing also available
See pricing information and conditions

Made by a team of distinguished filmmakers/anthropologists, Seed and Earth is a film about everyday life in rural West Bengal, India. It follows the daily schedule of the families of two brothers who live side by side and cooperate in many daily activities. We see how gender and age determine work, ritual and leisure activities.

Janta is a prosperous, multicaste village that derives its livelihood from agriculture. Rice, the main crop, is cultivated in small plots. The working day starts early with men ploughing and women beginning preparations for cooking. The ritual cycle of the village moves from brief daily prayers to big village-wide celebrations lasting several days. Seasonal worship of the gods and numerous life cycle rituals complete the sacred year. Eating, washing, gossiping, visiting — the fabric of daily life is captured eloquently on film with no intrusive narration.

This DVD features a secondary audio track containing ethnographic notes written & spoken by Lina & Ákos over relevant sequences.

Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Honorable Mention, Society of Visual Anthropology Film and Video Festival, Washington, 1995
award of merit, Sinking Creek Film and Video Festival, 1996
Director's Choice, Black Maria Film Festival, 1996
Prix Planet Cable, Bilan du Film Ethnographique, Paris, 1996
Best of Festival, Windy City International Documentary film Festival, Chicago, 1996
Director's Choice Award, Black Maria Film and Video Festival, 1996
Finalist, National Short Film and Video Competition, USA Film Festival, Dallas, 1996
Bronze Apple Award, National Educational Media Network Competition, 1996
35th Anniversary Bengal Studies Conference, Chicago, 1995
USA Film Festival, Dallas, 1996
Association for Asian Studies, 1996
Gottingen International Ethnographic Film Festival, Germany 1996
Association for Asian Studies Video Festival, Honolulu, 1996
Mostra International Festival (Rio de Janiero); Maremma Documentary Festival, (Italy), 1996
Fifth International Festival of Ethnographic Film, Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain, 1996

View more photos on

Related Films
Altar of Fire
Forest of Bliss
Loving Krishna
Serpent Mother
Singing Pictures
Sons of Shiva
Teyyam: The Annual Visit of the God Vishnumurti

Catalog of New Films DER new films catalog cover
Join Our Mailing List
Suport DER
Supported By Massachusetts Cultural Council National Endowment for the Humanities National Endowment for the Arts