HAPPENINGText: Christina Merl

“We Feed the World” is divided up into sections. Distressing questions like “Why doesn’t a tomato taste like a tomato?” or “How does one explain that two hundred million people in India, supplier of eighty percent of Switzerland’s wheat, suffer from malnutrition?” are mapped out in detail in each of these sections, which show fishermen in Brittany, the use of hybrid seeds in eastern Europe, the production of soya in Brazil, and the biggest food corporation of the world, Nestle, Switzerland. The interviewees, among them Nestle CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, an Austrian, tell their stories and give their opinions on the way the western world deals with food.

Interspersed are interviews with a food expert from the UN who provides insight into how the things shown in the film are affecting, often adversely, people around the world. When asked how he managed to secure the interviews, especially with people who might not normally participate in such a documentary, Wagenhofer says the first time he approaches someone, he never brings a camera. In fact, he doesn’t for the first 4 or 5 times, by which time people see he is not out to make fun of them, and they eventually agree to be filmed.

The film causes us to think about how and where the food we eat is produced and how so many people in the world can be starving when so much food is produced and wasted in the industrialized world. In other words, “We Feed the World” tells us that we are all part of the system, and that it is up to “us” to change it, as we are the ones who should desire to do so.

Movie-goes can watch “We Feed the World” in Austrian cinemas from 30 September.

We Feed the World
Director: Erwin Wagenhofer
Details: Austria, 2005, 1 hour 36 minutes
Language: German, Portuguese, French

Text: Christina Merl
Photos: Courtesy of Allegro Film

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