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End of Poverty (2010)

John Christensen , William Easterly , Philippe Diaz  |  NR |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Christensen, William Easterly, Susan George, Chalmers Johnson, Alvaro García Lineras
  • Directors: Philippe Diaz
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Cinema Libre
  • DVD Release Date: April 27, 2010
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0036WK57C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,741 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "End of Poverty" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews


A sort of 'An Inconvenient Truth' for global economics…a powerful description of how Western policies since colonialism have subjugated Third World countries. --Charles Masters, The Hollywood Reporter

It's become conventional to blame the culture and climate of poor countries and poor people, at least in part, for their own plight, as if corrupt dictatorships, ethnic warfare and raw-material economies were somehow intrinsic to Africa and Latin America..Diaz's film argues that all those things were the result of a lengthy historical process. Africa's dysfunctional and often anti-democratic regimes definitely aren't helping matters, for example, but they themselves -- along with the dire poverty they can't manage -- were produced by the European and North American powers' relationship to the global South, from 16th-century colonization right through 21st-century globalization. What's most profound, and also most controversial, in this analysis is the question of how much this pattern of exploitation continues today. --Andrew O Hehir,

A fascinating history lesson showing that the world's wealth disparity began with the Europeans' military conquest of other continents, enslavement of indigenous people and colonization that resulted in the seizure of land, minerals and other resources, and forced labor, and that it continues today due to the existence and enforcement of unfair debt, trade and tax policies. --Jennifer Merin,

Product Description

The End of Poverty? is a daring, thought-provoking and very timely documentary by award-winning filmmaker, Philippe Diaz, revealing that poverty is not an accident. It began with military conquest, slavery and colonization that resulted in the seizure of land and other natural resources as well as in forced labor. Today, global poverty has reached new levels because of unfair debt, trade and tax policies -- in other words, wealthy countries exploiting the weaknesses of poor, developing countries The End of Poverty? asks why today 20% of the planet s population uses 80% of its resources and consumes 30% more than the planet can regenerate? Can we really end poverty under our current economic system? Think again. Filmed in the slums of Africa and the barrios of Latin America, The End of Poverty? features expert insights from: Nobel prize winners in Economics, Amartya Sen and Joseph Stiglitz; acclaimed authors Susan George, Eric Toussaint, John Perkins, Chalmers Johnson; university professors William Easterly and Michael Watts; government ministers such as Bolivia's Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera and the leaders of social movements in Brazil, Venezuela, Kenya and Tanzania . It is produced by Cinema Libre Studio in collaboration with the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
This film presents a challenge to the much-discussed ideas of Jeffrey Sachs. It shows that many of the causes of poverty are structural, not rooted in inadequacies of the individuals who live in poverty.

Unless we change the structures which create poverty, the efforts of many well-intended people to relieve the effects of poverty will not bring the end of poverty.

Henry George wrote about "the robber who takes all that is left" -- "Labor may be likened to a man who as he carries home his earnings is waylaid by a series of robbers. One demands this much, and another that much, but last of all stands one who demands all that is left, save just enough to enable the victim to maintain life and come forth next day to work. So long as this last robber remains, what will it benefit such a man to drive off any or all of the other robbers?" (Source: Protection or Free Trade)

Most of the efforts to reduce or end poverty do not attack the structures which create it; they are merely attempts to injure or remove one or another of those intermediate robbers: lack of drinking water; mosquitoes-borne illnesses; lack of educational opportunity; lack of capital, etc.

We ought to be seeking the source of the problem. This film is a start in that direction; it looks at structures. It is a good start. I encourage you to seek out the film's companion book Why Global Poverty?: A Companion Guide to the Film "The End of Poverty?" and two related websites: [...] and [...] for more that will illuminate the structural issues.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars eye opening May 30, 2010
By C.
I knew some of this but for the most part was blown away. It is astounding. I will think about this movie and what I have learned from it for a LONG time. I will feel guilty for complaining about anything knowing my conveniences come at quite a price.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A people's history of the world May 21, 2010
Director Philippe Diaz's documentary THE END OF POVERTY? reminds us without poverty - that is, poor people the wealthy rob and enslave - those who enjoyed great affluence these past 500 years would have had to cut their own grass. In the fifteenth century, armies of the rich merely conquered foreign nations in order to plunder their resources and cart off slaves. But in modern times, the film explains, through organizations such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank the moneyed interests pillage by indebting countries in Africa, South America, and anywhere else they can get away with it.

Hence, today twenty percent of the world's population uses eighty percent of resources. The people of nations on the short end of that equation see starvation and disease kill 20,000 of their children every day.

Maybe I missed the explanation for calling this documentary THE END OF POVERTY?, but it strikes me as someone from the World Bank recoiling at the thought of actually making sure every human being has food, water, health care, and a decent home. "The end of poverty? Then what would we do to remain wealthy?"

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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars End of Poverty? A Review January 31, 2011
Framing the root causes of poverty in an economic perspective can perhaps help these humanitarian groups and others to isolate and dismantle these destructive causes in an effort to alleviate the suffering of today's poor. In his documentary The End of Poverty?, Philippe Diaz provides just that. The film is bold in its criticism of accepted economic theory and practice. Mainstream critics, as a result, dutifully attack it on precarious grounds. New York Times film critic Neil Genzlinger dubbed Diaz's movie as a "guilt trip/history lesson" filled with "naïve" academics and public figures from all over the globe. Tyler Cowen, writing for the foreign policy magazine The American Interest, states that "the movie is blind to the world we actually live in," and then suggests that Ayn Rand had it right after all. And Peter Rainer, writing for the Christian Science Monitor, adds that the movie fails because "the talking heads in `The End of Poverty?' don't offer much." This sort of highbrow labeling is understandable and to be expected among intellectuals who consider themselves the guardians of capitalism. That's because Diaz's film, released in the States in November of 2009, is a punch in the teeth to capitalism. Offering solutions--and the movie, incidentally, makes plenty which the critics fail to recognize--is not Diaz's purpose for making the film. "Ultimately," Diaz said in the director's statement on the movie's website, "the goal of the film was to change the dialogue around the poverty debate from `poverty is a shame,' to `poverty exists for a reason'" (Diaz). Read more ›
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb September 8, 2010
Really phenomenal documentary. If you have recently taken an interest in learning how the world truly operates then I recommend this documentary.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent historical perspective on poverty
The film provides an excellent historical perspective to explain why poverty in the Developing World is so extensive.
Published 21 hours ago by Catherine H Yansa
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The great thing about this documentary is that it is composed of various economists.
Published 1 month ago by Code Name: Specialist
5.0 out of 5 stars Not in your lifetime!!!!
Love this movie, shows how those dooms-day theorists are not so far off the mark!!!
Published 2 months ago by CHUI
4.0 out of 5 stars The Truth is Continuing to Come Out
This film can be depressing to watch. The film basically starts with how colonialism got the world to where it is now. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Butterfly
4.0 out of 5 stars good movie
I liked this movie - lots of subtitles though because it is a global investigation. Have to watch when I have my glasses on! lol
Published 3 months ago by Karen A Hayungs
3.0 out of 5 stars not worth the read or to buy
from:" By - S. Dhawan (Munich, Germany) - See all my reviews

This review is from: The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time (Paperback)
I must... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Ron B.
5.0 out of 5 stars Ugh... I'm hopeless
I bought this for my anthropology class... We talked after and it was pretty overwhelming. Is there hope? Yes but no. Watch it. It's really interesting!
Published 7 months ago by Andrea Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for TEA partiers.....
This clearly has an anti-capitalism bent. On the other hand it is engaging and explains the root cause of some of the problems that post-colonial societies continue to grapple... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mark A. Graber
5.0 out of 5 stars The End of Poverty
It was very good documental. It has a variety of interviews with different points of view.It is real and made me think about poverty around the world.
Published 10 months ago by Luz Enid
4.0 out of 5 stars Psychological Considerations to Ending Poverty
This documentary is about how colonialism, fueled and perpetuated by the narcissistic compulsion to try to fill an unconscious feeling of emptiness (poverty) by creating delusions... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Markus Youssef
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