Against hunger

Against hunger (30 minutes)
an abridged version and extension of Wheat as a Weapon

TV-Premiere: Wednesday, December 21, 2022, 10:15 p.m. on WDR Fernsehen

Russia's attack on Ukraine has changed a lot. It has also triggered one of the worst humanitarian crises since World War II. This report is dedicated to the fateful connection between two countries - which makes clear how vulnerable the international food system is. And how fatal the consequences. First, there is Ukraine in eastern Europe, and then Mauritania in northwestern Africa. Mauritania has been importing grain from Ukraine to feed its people. Until before the war, Ukraine made good money exporting its grain all over the world. But those certainties are in the past: many Ukrainian farmers have come under fire, like Nadja Ivanova near Mykolayiv. They have lost part of their harvest. In addition, they cannot sell their grain, and the country can no longer export nearly as much via the Black Sea ports as it used to. For months, Russia had even blocked the departure of ships altogether. Prices in the country are in the basement, while they are rising worldwide. "It's painful for the rest of the world and for us: for them it's food and for us it's money to get ahead and keep working," says Nadja Ivanova. Thousands of kilometers away, people are starving, including in Mauritania, one of the poorest countries in the world. Since the port blockade in Ukraine, imports no longer arrive here. Instead, on the side of the road, women collect the wheat that falls from passing trucks from the dust. One of them is Fatimetou. With the grains she finds here, she tries to keep herself and her daughter alive. "We haven't found anyone to feed us, so we try to feed ourselves." And food has also become scarce in many places in Ukraine. We are with a farmer near the Russian border. The farm had 2,000 cows until a few weeks ago. But most of them were killed in a bombing raid. Now there are few cows here, hardly any food for the animals and no milk for the people. Even aid deliveries with food are not getting through because the bridges and roads are destroyed. As part of the WDR charity campaign "Der Westen hilft. Together against hunger in the world", this report portrays people from two countries that could not be more different and yet depend on each other. It shows people who are fighting against hunger and starvation. They try to stay alive and survive this crisis - they are angry and sad but also inventive and creative.
The film will be available in the WDR-Mediathek two days before the first broadcast!
The link to it will be available on all Social media channels by THURNFILM published. Here it goes to the Program preview.
Additional information:
Author Tatjana Mischke
Editorial: Nicole Ripperda, Beate Schlanstein (WDR)                                                                              Music: Sascha Blank                                                                                                                                    Film edit: Max Narkovic