Land Grabbing


  • Kurt Langbein
  • Austria
  • 2015
  • 94 min
  • Dutch Premiere
  • Panorama, Benjamin Barber: Jihad vs. McWorld 2015
Ever since agriculture started becoming an attractive investment, local farmers all over the world have been losing ground to international businesses. It’s a phenomenon with far-reaching implications. Land Grabbing is a beautifully filmed journey taking in grain fields and tomato hothouses, investors and lobbyists, the EU Parliament in Brussels, a five-star hotel in Dubai, investors and dispossessed land users. In short, it’s a wide-ranging lesson in neocolonialism. National governments lease land to foreign companies for a pittance, leading to former land users going hungry while the food that they help to produce as underpaid laborers is exported to affluent customers in the EU and elsewhere. We see Danish investors in Romania, Vietnamese in Cambodia, a Dutchman in Ethiopia and the multinational Cargill in Indonesia. Director Kurt Langbein listens to investors talking of a “heaven on earth” before he pays a visit to the farms themselves to talk with proprietors, as well as workers and locals. They tell of another, darker side of the story; of land taken from them, destroyed homes, felled rainforests, intimidation and exploitation. German agricultural scientist Felix zu Löwenstein sheds light on the underlying trends: the area of agricultural land around the world leased to investors since 2000 is two million square kilometers (772,000 square miles) – an area greater than all European farmland combined.


  • 94 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: English, German, French
Kurt Langbein
Kurt Langbein for Langbein & Partner Media GmbH & Co KG
Wolfgang Thaler, Attila Boa, Christian Roth
Andrea Wagner
Armin Koch, Martin Stiendl

IDFA history

Dutch Premiere
Benjamin Barber: Jihad vs. McWorld 2015

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