The director of a new film about a Saskatchewan grain farmer’s legal fight with biotech giant Monsanto says the drama has some fictionalized characters. But Clark Johnson adds that the team behind “Percy,” which hits theaters in several cities on [October 9], is telling what they see as the truth of Percy Schmeiser‘s story.
Christopher Walken stars as the farmer from Bruno, Sask., who was sued and taken to court by Monsanto starting in the late 1990s for using its genetically modified canola seeds without a licence.
Schmeiser denied intentionally using the U.S. company’s herbicide-resistant Roundup Ready seeds, saying they could have blown over from a neighbour’s farm or passing trucks.
Some in the agriculture industry have criticized the “Percy” trailer on social media, saying it contains inaccuracies, including its depiction of Schmeiser as innocent.
Johnson calls such arguments “fair.”
“That’s what movies are for, is to get a debate and a conversation going,” said the Emmy Award-nominated director …. “If you want to take the position that he knew all along and he did it on purpose, take that position, that’s fine.”
But the filmmakers didn’t “put words in Monsanto’s mouth,” and Johnson doesn’t think Schmeiser would risk everything he owns “to make up this lie,” he added.