Screened as part of NZIFF 2023

The Grab 2022

Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite Political States

A stunning investigation into the money, influence, and alarming covert efforts of governments and private investors to gain control of the most vital resources on the planet – food and water.

Jul 22

Academy Cinemas

Jul 26

Academy Cinemas

Aug 06

Academy Cinemas

USA In English, Lala, Russian and Ukrainian with English subtitles
104 minutes Colour / DCP

Director, Screenplay


Nathan Halverson
Amanda Pike
Blye Pagon Faust
Nicole Rocklin
Gabriela Cowperthwaite


Davis Coombe


Jonathan Ingalls


Jeff Beal


Nathan Halverson
Holly Irwin
Brigadier "Brig" Siachitema
Emma Schwartz
Mallory Newman


Toronto, DOC NYC 2022; CPH:DOX 2023


Hailed after its Toronto premiere as “the ‘holy shit’ documentary of the year”, the new film from the director of Blackfish (NZIFF 2013) investigates the story of the increasingly rapid and ruthless contest for the planet’s water and food resources with the energy of a political thriller.

After unearthing the story of the Chinese government’s role in the acquisition of the world’s largest pork producer, the US Smithfield Foods, Nathan Halverson and his team at the Center for Investigative Reporting embark on an ambitious and sometimes dangerous project to join the dots between local disputes—from communities displaced in Zambia to wells running dry in Arizona—and the geopolitical currents that run beneath them.

The Grab shuttles from America to China, from the Arab World to Russia and the bludgeoned fields of Ukraine, laying bare the ways the demands of developed and emerging economies reach far beyond territorial borders, hatching a new and frightening frontier of global conflict. The protagonists of this real-world drama are state and corporate forces, together with the middlemen who do their bidding. Such as Erik Prince, the founder of the shadowy mercenary contractor Blackwater, whose involvement is revealed in “the trove”, a massive cache of correspondence leaked to the investigators. — Toby Manhire

“I love seeing the details presented in this sort of methodical way. It puts The Grab in the same general sphere as something like All the President’s Men or Spotlight, as simultaneous examinations of big, landscape-shifting stories and the necessary journey to cast light into the darkness.” —Daniel Fienberg, Hollywood Reporter