Zed
Investigation & Politics 52'

UKRAINE’S GRAIN: THE WAR OVER WHEAT

Russia and Ukraine supply more than a quarter of the world’s wheat. By declaring war on his neighbor, Vladimir Putin is pushing the world into an unprecedented food shortage, and he is using grain as a new weapon.

Our film investigates the twists and turns of a potentially long-lasting, international crisis. 3 billion people around the world consume wheat daily, and it’s been a staple for humans since ancient times. But only a few countries produce most of it, while the rest of the world must import it. The demand for wheat is increasing, but cultivation is challenged by climate change and the growing cost of production and transportation. As a result, the price of wheat continues to rise.

The price reached a new summit in the spring of 2022 when Russia’s war on Ukraine blocked exports from the Black Sea. Fears of shortages along with social and political unrest triggered worldwide panic, so this “golden oil” suddenly became an influential, unexpected weapon.

We’ll answer important questions in this film, such as who benefits from having power over food, how it shapes geopolitical relationships around the globe and the consequences of wielding this power. We’ll probe the current crisis to penetrate the mysteries of a globalized market and reveal where the hidden power struggles take place.

Direction: Vincent de Cointet
Production: Tohubohu for ARTE
Delivery: Fall 2023

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