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Without free seeds there are no free people

If the Brothers Grimm had known about genetic engineering of living organisms, they would have written a fairy tale like The Vesper Chronicles.

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Without free seeds there are no free people

If the Brothers Grimm had known about genetic engineering of living organisms, they would have written a fairy tale like The Vesper Chronicles. A science fiction fairy tale from a new dark age.

In it, mankind tried to avert the threatening ecological catastrophe by means of genetic engineering, countless laboratory creatures were released into nature. In vain, one has only wiped out large populations of people, animals and plants and replaced them with harmful ones.

The Vesper Chronicles may be one of cinema's first eco-dystopias. The title heroine, 13-year-old Vesper (Raffiella Chapman), does not wander through landscapes with overgrown buildings of our civilization, but a world full of mud and bare trees. Heavy fog hangs over everything, worms snap at Vesper's feet from cracks in the pavement, and anyone who touches poison-red grass is shot at with deadly beetles. The horror isn't atomic, it's organic, slippery, tentacled.

This is not a Hollywood vision of the future, but one from Lithuania (!) by two incredibly talented world builders, Kristina Buozytė and Bruno Samper, whose role models are in the French fantastic, at Topor, Laloux, Jeunet. Part of their utopia also involves dividing the survivors into the poor in the mud and a rich few who thrive in "citadels" and buy the blood of mudkids in exchange for a bit of seed. However, this only gives one harvest, it is genetically engineered to become sterile afterwards (and this is not science fiction, Bayer has already developed such "Terminator" seeds).

The girl in this fairy tale is a bio-hacker, self-taught, and she does not breed in a sterile laboratory but in an old greenhouse, where creatures of fragile beauty are born. Vesper's story is both an adolescence story and a revolutionary story, because only when the seed will be free can people be free too.

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