Award winner 2009



A BLOOMING BUSINESS by Ton van Zantvoort | The Netherlands 2009 | 52:00 min.

This is where the cheap roses in our flower shops come from: huge farms in Kenya. Images of a disaster illustrate the murderous cost of globalisation and our avarice. We ordinary citizens think that the lovely flowers that decorate our home come from a huge garden. Even when we buy them in supermarkets, a garden is always somehow involved. Wrong! There are no happy cows and there is no garden. Only an industry.

In this case, the flower growing industry, for example in Kenya where the film “A Blooming Business” takes us and shows plainly the murderous conditions under which globalisation works. In Kenya, growing and exporting flowers for the European market is an important source of foreign currency. But at what cost!

Jane talks about it, a single mother of three who labours from seven in the morning until late at night and must sleep with the supervisor to keep her job. Or Agnes, who was fired after the chemicals in the pesticide corroded her face. Or Oskar who was also fired for talking back and has since earned a living as a water seller. But the water he sells is poisoned, because it comes from a lake into which 67 flower farms dump their unfiltered waste water. Talking of water – every rose consumes 1.5 litres per day. Which is why the water level of the lake is sinking, the fish population is shrinking and Kennedy can’t pay his rent. And, and, and ... A cynic is a person who looks for a coffin when he sees flowers – even more after seeing this film.

See the trailer at