'The Ants & the Grasshopper' unpacks America's contribution to climate change

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Anita Chitaya (right) traveled from Malawi to the U.S. to meet farmers and understand the impact Americans have on global warming. Photo courtesy of Giant Pictures.

The filming of "The Ants & the Grasshopper" began in 2010, when it was intended to be a web series shot from different perspectives in Malawi, Peru, and Singapore. "In the end, the money ran out but this story in Malawi wouldn't go away, it just kept developing," says co-director Raj Patel. The film follows the story of a community attempting to end hunger and fight patriarchy. Then, it takes another turn when narrator and lead character Anita Chitaya discovers how responsible Americans are for global climate change. 

Slapping down their credit cards, Patel and his co-director, Zak Piper, brought Chitaya to the United States to speak with activists working to change the food system. As they drive through the country visiting farmers, Chitaya and her companion, Esther, repeat the same emotional mantra, "We don't know how lucky we are, and we're wasting it."

Filmmaker Raj Patel has worked for over a decade to bring the story of Anita Chitaya to the screen. Photo courtesy of Raj Patel.

"The Ants & the Grasshoppers" is the story of an outsider's frustration with America, the inequities of class, and climate change. Photo courtesy of Giant Pictures.