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On the Caribbean island of the Dominican Republic, tourists flock to pristine beaches, with little knowledge that a few miles away thousands of dispossessed Haitians are under armed guard on plantations harvesting sugarcane, most of which ends up in US kitchens. Cutting cane by machete, they work 14 hour days, 7 days a week, frequently without access to decent housing, electricity, clean water, education, healthcare or adequate nutrition. The Price of Sugar follows a charismatic Spanish priest, Father Christopher Hartley, as he organizes some of this hemisphere's poorest people, challenging the powerful interests profiting from their work. This film raises key questions about where the products we consume originate, at what human cost they are produced and ultimately, where our responsibility lies.Written by
Louise Rosen Ltd.
If you have the same contempt for the ruling classes as I have,then this documentary (shot on video)is for you. It has to do with Haitians, who are forced to work in the Dominican Republic,cutting sugar cane for slave wages,who are treated like human cattle by brutal overseers, all for the wealthy sugar cane plantation owners (does the word exploitation strike a familiar chord here?). The documentary is largely centered on a Catholic Priest,who out of concern for these people,acts as a spokesman for their well being (while all the time making an enemy out of himself for the more xenophobic Dominicans). I generally walked out of this one at the end feeling sadness & pity for the downtrodden workers who are constantly being exploited,and burning disgust for the perps who should know better. The doc is narrated by the great Paul Newman (never once seen on camera,but his voice is in plentiful supply). This is a documentary that is a "must see" for human rights advocates,and just about anyone with a human heart.
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