The Global Banquet : Politics of Food


Timely and provocative, this video examines how corporate globalization of food threatens the livelihoods of small farmers in the U.S. and in developing countries. We see how “free” trade is the route to mounting hunger worldwide despite an overabundance of food.




The Global Banquet exposes globalization’s profoundly damaging effect on our food system in terms that are understandable to the non-specialist. It debunks several underlying myths about global hunger:

  • That hunger results from scarcity;
  • That small countries don’t know how to feed themselves; and
  • That only market-driven, chemically-based, industrial agriculture can feed the world.

This film reveals how agribusiness squeezes out small farmers and how trade liberalization undercuts subsistence farming—in the U.S. as well as in the developing world. It demonstrates how food security is linked to social development and how women, in particular, are affected by that. And it links factory farming and the alteration and patenting of life forms to degradation of the natural environment.

Through interviews with farmers, policy analysts, and international activists, The Global Banquet examines the ethical questions at the heart of the globalization debate. Beyond that, it shows how farmers, laborers, environmentalists, animal-rights activists, church groups, and students—worldwide—are mobilizing to address the situation.


  • James Goldstone Award for Excellence in Filmmaking (Vermont International Film Festival)
  • Cine Golden Eagle Award
  • U.S. International Film & Video Festival Award for Creative Excellence


PBS, Link-TV, and cable stations in the U.S.

Screenings & Festivals

  • United Nations Film Festival
  • Vermont International Film Festival
  • U.S. International Film & Video Festival

How to use this film:

The Global Banquet is a resource for families and community groups concerned about the globalization of food. It also offers a fresh perspective to high-school and college classes on subjects related to fair trade, social justice, animal rights, science and technology, and protection of the natural environment. With its companion Discussion Guide, the film encourages a deeper look at:

  • How government subsidies, corporate agricultural practices, and extremist free-trade policies widen the gap between rich and poor—how low-cost food leaves people hungry;
  • The ethical and environmental consequences of factory farming, pesticide use, and genetic engineering;
  • How a competitive food economy distorts our relationship to the land and to one another;
  • How small-scale production using organic and alternative methods actually increases yield while supporting democracy, community, and cultural and biological diversity; and
  • How a grassroots solidarity movement is bringing people together, worldwide, to reclaim their power and their rightful place in the larger web of life.

For additional information on globalization and hunger, we recommend the following websites:

Additional information

Price Levels

Consumer/Home Video, Public Library/Secondary School, Synagogue/Church/Mosque, University/College/College Library, Public Performance/Screening License


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