Toxification tells the story of the plight of the Punjabi farmers. The north Indian state of Punjab was said to have produced enough food to feed the entire country during the Green Revolution. However, the overuse of chemicals introduced to enhance production has poisoned the water with carcinogens and created an infertile soil addicted to chemicals. As the land is dependent, so are more and more farmers becoming addicted to drugs, which help them to work longer hours in the fields. The expense of the chemicals and drugs forces farmers to take loans from Arthis, the rich middlemen who increase their interest rates without warning. Over 50,000 farmers have committed suicide over the past ten years, by drinking the toxic chemicals that are murdering Punjabi soil.
“We flew out to India to make a ten-minute short film, and unknowingly returned with a feature film in our hands. Our film tells a story not yet told; we believe it is important and needs to be seen and heard.” Leva Kwestany & Rehmat Rayatt Based in London, social documentary photographer and filmmaker REHMAT RAYATT grew up in rural Essex, England. She graduated from the Arts University Bournemouth in Photography and works globally in film and photography. Her work has been broadcast on Sky Arts and Reuters TV, published in The Guardian, Telegraph and Evening Standard and exhibited/ screened at the Southbank Centre London, BFI London, New Art Exchange.
Being a Punjabi Sikh, Toxification has always been a project close to her heart.
LEVA KWESTANY is a documentary filmmaker from London. After finishing film school at the Arts University at Bournemouth, she left the UK to discover worlds beyond her own; travelling the world and capturing stories on her path. During these few years she also worked with many NGOs and individuals, helping to share their stories. She holds a deep passion for spreading inspiration through her work.