In Ethiopia, vast portions of land, once cultivated and nurtured by generations of smallholding farmers, are now being sold to foreign investors by the government in a quest for economic growth. But at what cost? The shocking real-life thriller, ‘Dead Donkeys Fear No Hyenas’ is a journey into the dark side of this ambition, where the results of this land grab include the forced eviction of communities, the destruction of livelihoods and environmental devastation. The documentary opens in remote corners of Ethiopia but leads the viewer through global financial centres and right to their dining tables, delivering a stark and brutal message about the true cost of our dinner plates.
As the film unfolds, we encounter a range of characters who provide insight into the complex web that lies behind this tragedy, from investors and bureaucrats, to struggling environmentalists and persecuted journalists. Directed by Joakim Demmer, this is no ordinary documentary. Shot in a visual style that is both thrilling and foreboding, it is a powerful exposé on the impacts of large-scale industrial agriculture on the environment and on the people of Ethiopia.