DK 2016 • 76', 52', 8x28', 5x45' • Andreas Johnsen
food • green
A Gastronomic Adventure with Nordic Food Lab by Andreas Johnsen
Insects as food is a hot topic. Particularly over the last few years, since the UN recommended edible insects as a resource to combat world hunger, they have been heralded for their taste by cooks and gastronomes, for their low ecological impact by environmentalists and for their nutritional content by public health scientists. It would seem that insects are the new superfood that will fix all our problems of global food security.
For the past three years a team from Copenhagen-based Nordic Food Lab made up of chefs and researchers Josh Evans, Ben Reade and Roberto Flore have been travelling the world to learn what some of the two billion people who already eat insects have to say. Nordic Food Lab is a self-governing not-for-profit institution, stated jointly by René Redzepi, head chef of noma and gastronomic entrepreneur Claus Meyer.
In BUGS, film director Andreas Johnsen follows them as they forage, farm, cook and taste insects with communities in Europe, Australia, Mexico, Kenya, Japan and beyond. During their journey they encounter everything from revered termite queens and desert-delicacy honey ants to venemous giant hornets and long-horned grasshoppers trapped using powerful floodlights, that sometimes cause their catchers temporary blindness.
Throughout the team's experiences and conversations in the field, at the lab, at farm visits and international conferences, some hard questions start to emerge. If industrially produced insects become the norm, will they be as delicious and as beneficial as the ones in diverse, resilient ecosystems and cuisines around the world? And who will actually benefit as insects are scaled up?
Are insects a mirror that reflects our broken food systems, or the silver bullet that will fix them?
"A thought-provoking doc for adventurous foodies and environmentalists alike"
"Bugs is one of most compelling documentaries about food in the past few years. It's part travel diary, part culinary exploration, part political conversation starter."
"Bugs succeeds in eliminating the "EEEWWW" from its topic", 4 of 5 stars
"take a few deep breaths, open your mind, and let BUGS crawl their way up to your plate. You may view things differently"
Award @ Cinemambiente
Clin D'oeil Films, Danish Documentary Production, DR, Kloos & Co Medien, RTBF, Submarine, VPRO
Danish Documentary Production
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Tribeca Film Festival
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For director Andreas Johnsen, filmmaking is about giving in to his driving force: curiosity. Making films has become his way of investigating, experiencing, and coming to know the world. So when Andreas wants to learn about China, its political system and censorship policy, he makes a film with the internationally acclaimed artist Ai Weiwei.
And when he wants to better understand the world of gastronomy and food systems, nothing is more natural than to start filming the team from Nordic Food Lab researching edible insects across the globe. This dedication to curiosity and empathy with his subject are clearly expressed in the resulting films. They contain more than just the stories at their surface-they're also full of the ambitions, hopes and dreams that drive the characters themselves. His films both entertain and provide food for thought, because Andreas has a particular ability to explain the intricate and complex while composing a beautiful story. Andreas Johnsen has made a number of documentaries as director, producer and cinematographer since 2002. His films have been shown at festivals all around the world and have been broadcasted in countless countries. He is renowned for such films as KIDD LIFE, A Kind of Paradise, MURDER and his latest film Ai Weiwei -The Fake Case, which in 2013 was nominated in IDFA's " Feature Length Competition" , in Berlin 2014 at Cinema for Peace Awards and won the Danish Film Critics Award in 2014.Read More