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A groundbreaking documentary about Beverly Hills billionaires, marketing madness, water privatization, and...war with Iran.
A groundbreaking documentary about Beverly Hills billionaires, marketing madness, water privatization, and...war with Iran.
923 backers pledged $57,764 to help bring this project to life.

Almost there...and a new fundraising goal!

Posted by Yasha Levine (Creator)

Pistachio Wars is now almost fully funded — we're at 98%! We now need only about $500 to reach the finish line. And it's all because of you. Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen! Your generosity has been truly humbling.

With our goal so near and four whole days still left on the clock, we’ve decided not to give up without a fight — especially given the recent news coming out of California. We’re upping the ante and setting a new stretch goal for the campaign: $55,000.

The extra $5,000 will go towards funding one more investigative trip to the Central Valley. We want to look into the news that Harvard University has spent $300 million buying up farmland and water rights in California. As the Wall Street Journal reported, for Harvard it’s an investment and a pure profit play: the university is making a bet on its ability to make money off water scarcity in the age of global warming.

Information about this new development came out about a week ago, while our campaign was in full swing. It's a bit shocking to see a university from the other side of the country getting into California's water business. But it fits into one of the main themes of Pistachio Wars: the ongoing stealth privatization of the state's water and the emergence of a new class of water barons. 

We want to find out what's going on with this Harvard deal and to see how the university plans to profit from it. If we raise the extra $5,000, we’ll head out the Central Valley, interview locals, and talk to the people involved in the deal. If the wind is right, we’ll even put up a drone to get a better sense from the air of what Harvard is up to.

Help get us there! 

Thanks, and see you in a few days at the finish line!

—Yasha Levine


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    1. Rowan Wernham Collaborator on

      Thanks for the comment Rosanna! We will definitely be in touch if we come through again for more filming.

      Thank you also Lynne!

      An LA red carpet premiere would be nice Benjamin, although I would settle for a giant Pistachio Wars billboard on Sunset somewhere in the path of the Resnicks commute ;)

    2. Benjamin Glover on

      Massive congrats - when's the red carpet in front of the Chinese Theatre?

    3. Missing avatar

      Rosanna Esparza on

      Contact Tom Philpott investigative reporter with Mother Jones. Tom's covered some amazing stories and spent time with us here in the Central Valley. He did a story on Harvard buying up land in the Cuyama Valley and San Luis Obispo in 2017. Email me if you need contact info.

    4. Missing avatar

      Peter Hopkins on

      Toady, it’s water. Tomorrow, they’ll be privatizing the very air we breath

    5. on

      I'll tell you what I know about the Harvard endowment. Check out the Cuyama Valley, what's happening behind the gates on the south side of 166, the former North Fork Ranch. Harvard bought it up to grow grapes, not run cattle. Drive to Schoolyard Canyon (still marked) and see for yourself. PM me for some 2017 pix. The water table is already greatly depleted due to I think one of the carrot growers--Bolthouse? not sure.