Erwin Wagenhofer – Austria

Erwin Wagenhofer is born 1961 in Amstetten, Lower Austria, graduated from the Vienna Institute of Technology TGM, Department of Communications Engineering and Electronics worked for three years as developer at Philips Austria, Video Department 1983–1987 freelance director and assistant camera operator for various productions, feature films and documentaries at the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) since 1987 freelance writer and filmmaker … (full bio).

He says: ” … the idea came from an earlier project. We were making a film called Operation Figurini about an art project which took place at the local markets. From the beginning we had planned to make a detailed documentary of Vienna’s markets. When it came time to write the script or do the treatment for this film, I wandered up and down the city’s markets and I thought: what is it about markets that’s so interesting in the first place? And the only thing that interested me was the products. Where does all that stuff come from? The original idea was to start at Vienna’s most famous market, the Naschmarkt, and to look behind the scenes. Where does that stuff come from, where do the tomatoes and all the other products come from? And we actually began with the tomatoes. We did our research and that’s how we ended up in Spain. We just did the tomato story first … ” (full interview text).

Picture Gallery of ‘we feed the world‘.


Erwin Wagenhofer – Austria

Tout enfant qui meurt de faim est … assassiné – Étant donné l’état actuel de l’agriculture dans le monde, on sait qu’elle pourrait nourrir 12 milliards d’individus sans difficultés. Pour le dire autrement : tout enfant qui meurt actuellement de faim est, en réalité, assassiné. » Les mots de Jean Ziegler, rapporteur auprès de l’O.N.U. sur le Droit à l’alimentation tombent comme un couperet … (scenes et ciné


He writes: Every day in Vienna the amount of unsold bread sent back to be disposed of is enough to supply Austria’s second-largest city, Graz. Around 350,000 hectares of agricultural land, above all in Latin America, are dedicated to the cultivation of soybeans to feed Austria’s livestock while one quarter of the local population starves. Every European eats ten kilograms a year of artificially irrigated greenhouse vegetables from southern Spain, with water shortages the result … (full text).

He says also (… about Jean Ziegler): It’s interesting how that came about, because I found Ziegler first. I’ve read his books and followed his TV appearances for years and have great respect for his work. But I chose Jean Ziegler for only one reason–or rather, he interested us for only one reason–and that’s because he works at the UN. Because Jean Ziegler as Jean Ziegler would immediately put everything into the left corner, but since he has this high UN function, that of Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food… that made him interesting for the film. I wrote Jean Ziegler a letter, and because he’s an admirer of the French Revolution, I sent the letter on the 14th of July. I worked a long time on that letter, and two days later he called me. We met in Geneva that October … (full interview text).

Filmography on the NY Times.

Reviews of his film ‘we feed the world’:

  • The absurdities of a globalized food industry are subject to mounting scrutiny and disdain. These excesses are illustrated with jaw-dropping efficacy as the filmmaker charts a course of contention from Austria to Brazil, France to Africa. ( A film about food and globalisation, fishermen and farmers, long-distance lorry drivers and high-powered corporate executives, the flow of goods and cash flow–a film about scarcity amid plenty. With its unforgettable images, the film provides insight into the production of our food and answers the question what world hunger has to do with us. (dimmuborghild).
  • En quelques mois, les émeutes de la faim se sont multipliées d’un bout à l’autre de la planète. L’Organisation des Nations unies pour l’agriculture et l’alimentation (FAO) ne mâche pas ses mots : la hausse des prix des produits alimentaires (55 % en moins d’un an) a, selon elle, « un impact dévastateur sur la sécurité de nombreux peuples et sur les droits de l’homme » … (Monde Diplo, juin 2008).
  • Chaque jour, à Vienne, la quantité de pain inutilisée, et vouée à la destruction, pourrait nourrir la seconde plus grande ville d’Autriche : Graz… Environ 350 000 hectares de terres agricoles, essentiellement en Amérique latine, sont employées à la culture du soja destiné à la nourriture du cheptel des pays européens, alors que près d’un quart de la population de ces pays souffre de malnutrition chronique… Chaque Européen consomme chaque année 10 kg de légumes verts irrigués artificiellement dans le Sud de l’Espagne, et dont la culture provoque localement des pénuries … (tout le texte).

Find Erwin Wagenhofer on IMDb; on amazon; on Jubii.TV; on; on yahoo-movies; on; on pipl profiles; on Google Video-search; et dans Quelques uns de ses films.

Find ‘we feed the world‘ on Google Video-search: in french, in english; and on Google Book-search: in french, in english.

Bio auf deutsch.


The Dignity of the Nobodies (2005), on Critical Docs;

Genetic engineering in agriculture;

The Sociolinguistics of Development in Africa, De Paulin G. Djité;

Ernahrungsalltag Im Wandel, Chancen Für Nachhaltigkeit (Literaturverzeichnis);

Sundance Channel web site;

Erwin Wagenhofer’s Special Links about CONSUMER AWARENES: If you want to do something to counter the current trend in the global foodstuff market the place to begin is to become more critically aware of what you buy and eat. Follow these four watchwords: “fair trade – regional – seasonal – organic“! You’ll find plenty of tips IN GERMAN at: Fair Trade; Weltlaeden; EZA; Marktcheck; Umweltberatung; Ernte; Bioinfo.

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