The various faces of hunger

Never before has food production been as high as it is today. All the same, there are still increasing numbers of people suffering from starvation. The urban poor in Haiti eat pies that consist mostly of mud. In one region of Kenya, half the children die of undernourishment. Hunger gives five people the chance to speak, people for whom not a day passes when they get enough to eat. All of them are very aware of the hopelessness of their situation. Their interpretations of the causes of their misfortune are complemented by local experts and activists -- partly through interviews, but more often by following them as they go about their work. We see visits by a Greenpeace activist to the victims of logging and soybean cultivation in the Amazon (including shocking images of concealed slave labor) alongside footage showing the operations of a large soybean farmer. In Kenya, we visit both the Masai, who suffer from terrible droughts, and the rose nursery that uses all the available water in the area. Hunger uses a different approach to describe the situation in Haiti, India, and Mauritania, but the message is essentially the same: through globalization, urbanization, and large-scale genetically modified food production, existing agrarian practices are being completely disrupted. Societies and individuals are no longer able to produce their own food. Worse still, local knowledge and crops are being lost forever.

'Hunger' Nominated for Adolf Grimme Prize

The film 'Hunger', created by documentary filmmaker Marcus Vetter as writer and director and journalist Karin Steinberger writing script, was nominated on 26 January for the Grimme Prize in the category 'Information and Culture'. It depicts the struggle of individuals, groups and organisations working to solve one of the most severe social, political and economic problems of our time. Vetter and Steinberger travelled to Kenya, India, Mauretania, Brazil and Haiti to gather material. In the film, people whose daily life is dominated by hunger and the struggle to survive have a chance to speak their minds. Among the topics covered are agro-biodiversity, EU fisheries policy, the lack of access to water, prioritisation of animal fodder production over food crop cultivation, and the impacts of cheap imports on developing countries.

The 90-minute documentary was first broadcast on 25 October 2010 as part of the theme week Essen ist Leben ('Food is Life') on the German television channel ARD. SWR (Südwestrundfunk – Southwest Broadcasting) commissioned Eikon Südwest with the film's production. Marcus Vetter has been awarded the Adolf Grimme Prize twice in past years, and won the German Film Award for 'Heart of Jenin' in 2010.

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Marcus Vetter and Karin Steinberger

A production of ARD and SWR

Year of production 2009
Lenght 89 Minutes
Format HD/35 mm
A production of ARD, SWR
In Co-prioduction with Filmperspektive GmbH
Directors Marcus Vetter
Karin Steinberger
Director of photography Thomas Mauch
Sound Klaus-Peter Schmitt
Editing Saskia Metten
Commissioning editors Gudrun Hanke-El Ghomri
Peter Latzel
Awards Evangelical Media Award 2001

Grimme-Award 2011
German Television Award 2011

Festivals IDFA - Int. Documentary Festival Amsterdam 2009
Food and Film Festival 2011