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Life and Debt
IMDB Rating: 7.7/10 from 830 votes
Release: 28 February 2003 (UK) /

Life and Debt

Genre: Documentary
Director: Stephanie Black,
Stars: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Synopsis: Documentary look at the effects of globalization on Jamaican industry and agriculture.

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Critic Reviews


"Life and Debt" documents the extremely negative effects "globalization" has on the Jamaican economny and agriculture. Juxtaposing typical tourist views with searingly challenging economic conditions of Jamaican natives, the audience begins to see a side of this culture normally hidden away.

Hearing representatives from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank talk, one recognizes the familiar rhetoric--administrative jargon which obscures its callous action: look out for one's self first and foremost.

Well-known US companies are documented here as part of the problem. Their motivation is to make a profit, period, no matter at what cost or human price.

American stockholders tend here to look at and be primarily concerned with how many points their shares rise--"Life and Debt" shows the downside of that rise. There's a lot more to life than merely being concerned about one's self. This film cries out for us to hear the needy call of our planetary brother and sister.

Capitalism and competition tend to be cold animals--and one buys into those concepts because they're in place and operating . . . never stopping to think that there may be an exploitative side to these activities.

Stephanie Black captures that side in this documentary. The tourists are rightly there to have a good time, yet we cannot turn our backs on our neighbors. Imposing grossly high interest rates and stipulations that cause them to sink greater into debt each year is not aiding them. Unloosing our subsidized powered milk on their marketplace while their unsold whole milk must be poured down the drain is not being fair.

When rioters and demonstrators took to the streets there and in the US against globalization, I wondered what it was all about. "Life and Debt" helped provide a subsantive explanation. The film is not an entertainment: it is a serious, thought-provoking film to inform.

As I sat in a near-empty movie house, with some people leaving before the end of the film, I wondered where was the audience? I thought, are we not all involved in this scenario? When we buy items "assembled in" Jamaica, do we really realize what that means in terms of "free zone?"

When we delight in paying very low prices for items made in China, Japan, Mexico, and the like, how does that really impact upon those countries' workers? "Life and Debt" helps provide an answer.

I very much value this documentary, and look forward to obtaining the dvd when released, to further ponder world economic check and balances and rethink the entire concept of "globalization."

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