To visit the film’s official web site, click here.
WHAT’S FOR DINNER? is distributed by Icarus Films in North America. For information on prices and screenings please contact them here. For purchases or screenings outside of North America please email us at wfd[at]brightergreen[dot]org.
Trailer music “UISTS” courtesy of XPURM.
To see the trailer on Vimeo, click here.
Brighter Green is trying to answer a big question: can people in the developing world eat as much meat and dairy as people in the industrialized countries without destroying the planet? And do they really want to? WHAT’S FOR DINNER? explores these issues through the medium of film.
To complement the film, Brighter Green has created a supplemental viewing guide to facilitate screenings of the film, including pre- and post-viewing questions, background information, and resources for further research. Please refer to this guide for information about acquiring a copy of the film or hosting a screening. Because of the short length of the film (running time of twenty-nine minutes), it can easily be paired with other documentaries in a class or series.
WHAT’S FOR DINNER? follows the rapid rise of animal product consumption in China, where consumption of pork the country’s most popular meat has doubled over the past ten years. Since China recently opened its doors to foreign agribusiness, both Western and home-grown fast food chains are now commonplace in urban areas, and contribute to a $28 billion-a-year business in the country.
None of this would be possible without the rapid adoption of a U.S.-style system of intensive production. But strains are showing: manure and other run-off from so-called “factory farms that can house thousands of pigs, chickens, or ducks are fouling groundwater and rivers. Only two generations after a national famine killed millions, nearly a quarter of Chinese adults are overweight or obese, as are as many as one in five children. Diet-related chronic diseases now kill more people in China than any other cause.
WHAT’S FOR DINNER? sheds new light on the climate, public health, food security, workers’ rights, and ethical concerns of China taking this path.
Interested in organizing a community or university screening, or home viewing? Please visit wfdinner.com for details.
Here are stills and short bios of each of the characters featured in the film:
Zhou Shuzhen is a retired pig farmer who worked at Ten Thousand Pig Farm in Jiangxi province
Xiao Muxiu is a pig farmer at Ten Thousand Pig Farm, whose small-scale business is threatened by the fluctuating price of pork.
Wu Xiaohong works in Beijing on animal welfare issues.
Yi Shengming is a pig farmer in Yi village, near Ji’an City in Jianxi province.
Wang Ronghua is a young livestock entrepreneur invested in pig and poultry farms, and is building a new pig facility in his hometown, which he hopes to expand.
Yu Li is the owner of Vegan Hut, a health-conscious vegan restaurant in Beijing, which he opened after learning about the significant role of livestock in global warming in the 2006 UN report, Livestock’s Long Shadow.
Xie Zheng is a pop star and activist who founded the vegetarian advocacy group, Don’t Eat Friends”.
Dr. Tian Yongsheng is a government official and long-time vegetarian who worries about the ecological impacts of feeding a growing livestock population.
Wen Bo is one of China’s leading environmentalists, working for National Geographic’s Global Exploration Fund for China.
Xie Hongying owns Donald Tucky restaurant, a home-grown Chinese fast food outlet in Ji’an City.
WHAT’S FOR DINNER? is directed by award-winning filmmaker Jian Yi who led an all-Chinese crew that included assistant director Eva Song, producer Douglas Xiao, and cinematographer Pan Kewu.
Jian Yi is an independent filmmaker and cultural activist working on topics related to religion, education, environmental conservation, globalization, history, and other cultural issues. He founded ARTiSIMPLE Studio in 2005 and launched IFChina Original Studio, through which he works on collecting social memories with long-time collaborator Douglas Xiao. Jian taught at Communications University of China for five years and was a Yale World Fellow, an Open Society Institute Fellow, an Asian Cultural Council grantee, and an India-China Fellow.
Interview with Jian Yi about the making of the film:
Versions of the film have screened at:
Follow the production process through our blogs. Learn about who and what Jian Yi and his crew filmed, and see what went into the making of WHAT’S FOR DINNER?
Click here for the film’s IMDB page.
View trailers for Jian Yi’s documentary and feature films on ARTiSIMPLE’s YouTube channel.
Click here for Jian Yi’s Director’s Statement for the film.
Jian Yi was invited to speak at the Apple Store in Sanlitun, Beijing as part of a series featuring Chinese directors. See clips of his interview, including scenes from WHAT’S FOR DINNER?, here.