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Berlinale asks 'Are we what we eat?'

Berlinale asks 'Are we what we eat?'
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The Berlinale Film Festival this year looked at how cinema treats food and the environment in its ‘Culinary Cinema’ programme.

‘Last Call At The Oasis’ is a documentary about the coming global water crisis this century, directed by the Oscar-winning Jessica Yu. American environmental activist Erin Brockovich was part of the film project and came to Berlin to present the movie.

She became associated with the issue of polluted water after Julia Roberts won the Oscar playing her in the 2000 film. Ten years later, the 51-year-old is still fighting for environmental issues.

“I do believe people realise without water we are doomed. So they don’t want to think about it and they just take it for granted. But we got some water issues coming up. Water will be a commodity someday and we are going to trade it like oil and it shouldn’t be that way. The time has come where we are going to start thinking about water and the importance of water. Even though we already know it, we don’t know it. And I am hope that this film will enlighten everybody,” says Brockovich.

The film explains the vital role water plays in our lives, exposes the defects in the current system, shows communities already struggling with its ill-effects and introduces us to individuals who are championing revolutionary solutions.

Finnish documentary ‘Canned Dreams’ goes in search of the stories that make up the contents of tinned food. The movie tracks a can of ravioli and the large number of workers from multiple cultures who make it.

Each worker tells their own story about their every day life, turning points in their past and moments that have touched them. The stories are full of joy and sadness.

The film shows the production chain from beginning to end and follows the route of the tin through Europe.

Director Katja Gauriloff said: “It is a really crazy world, this food globalisation, food production. All this, I didn’t have questions, I wanted to have a discussion, I wanted people to start to think what we really need and when we are in a supermarket and we have a lot of things, do we need all that and should we appreciate food more?”

It is estimated some 200 billion cans of tinned food are produced around the world annually. Just the U.S. brand Heinz uses over two million tonnes of tomatoes every year.
The film is hard-hitting and leaves little doubt as to the burden on the environment and the human and animal cost of cheap food.