By Max Ajl*
« I reviewed Habib Ayeb’s documentary, Couscous : Les Graines de la Dignité – كسكسي : حبوب الكرامة for Viewpoint Magazine: « Ayeb builds the bulk of the film’s narrative through interviews with around a dozen farmers, cut in with shots of labor, land, and daily life. He concentrates on cereal cultivation, which brings his lens to the country’s Central-East, Northeast, and Northwest regions, the latter two in particular composing Tunisia’s granary since time immemorial. His focus is the struggles of direct producers – the environmentalism of the poor – who work in agriculture in a natural world beset by the dislocations and mounting disorders of agro-industrial capitalist farming. »
* Max Ajl is an editor at Jadaliyya and Viewpoint and a member of the International Jewish anti-Zionist Network.
« Another farmer speaks of what environmental activists call terminator seeds: seeds which do not yield seed stock. His grandfather’s varieties made a good hard wheat semolina. But after the United States sent in engineers trained in the Midwestern states, foreign plants replaced local ones, and the seeds could not be sown the next year. »