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After oil, coffee is the most actively traded commodity in the world. But for every $2 cup of coffee, a farmer receives only a few pennies. Black Gold asks us to face the unjust conditions under which our favorite drink is produced and to decide what we can do about it. The film traces the tangled trail from the two billion cups of coffee consumed each day back to the coffee farmers who produce the beans. Founder of the Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union, Tadesse Meskela is fighting to help his 70,000 Ethiopian coffee farmers by seeking out buyers willing to pay a fair price. Through his journey, Tadesse begins to expose the web of greed and corruption inherent to the international trading system, including the World Trade Organization. Black Gold reminds viewers of their power to affect positive social change by way of their consumer vote. After seeing this film your coffee will never taste the same.
Film contains overprinting warning against public use in 3 points during the film, at 5 second intervals.
Black Gold goes beyond giving Starbucks sippers guilt trips. It gives a fascinating and nearly forgotten history of coffee in Ethiopia. --Delfin Vigil, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
This passionate little flim is here to convince you that educated consumers can decide who wins. --Janice Page, BOSTON GLOBE
Top Customer Reviews
The film gives its viewer a stark view of how an everyday product gets to its end user. Here the product is coffee. Nick and Marc Francis take their audience on quite a journey in a mere 78 minutes. We go from the verdant coffee fields of Ethiopia to the floor of the New York Commodities Market to Italy to London and finally to Cancun for a meeting of the World Trade Organization.
The film follows the struggles of Tedesse Maskela of the Oromia Coffee Growers Cooperative to get a better price for his farmers for the beans they sell. It is a story of the haves and the have nots. Against the beautiful backdrops of Ethiopia we witness first hand the poverty of the growers who are making less and less for a commodity that appears to be only going up in price. The film really gets to you in that the unfairness of the current system really comes into view. There is much more here than the importance of a "fair trade" price for a product. This is a narrative concerning the survival of a culture and a way of life.
In a way this is a vibrant picture of the entire third world agricultural system. We would rather provide continuing aid than self reliance.The system has the ability to pull itself up by its bootstraps with true help not handouts. This is the message that Meskela ultimately gets across.
This is an important documentary that needs to be seen by a large group of people. Let's hope the message gets out before its too late.
Wake up and smell the coffee.
My only complaint about this DVD is the annoying message that pops up on screen every 20 minutes warning that the disc is for private home use only, and is not to be shown for commercial or classroom purposes. I've never seen this on any other DVD. So if you are thinking about buying this DVD from Amazon to show in a class, be warned! Instead you will probably have to pay through the nose to get it from California Newsreel, the dirty dogs....
What really moved me was when they had a group meeting and decided to open up a school for their kids-- to be financed by their meager earnings.
Preachers of globalization, kindly take a look!
This Ethiopean story applies to vast majority of producing countries.
This is an alarming, eye-opening story for everyone. Two thumbs up and A Must See!!!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really an amazing, insightful look into the coffee trade. I showed it to my economics class.Published 17 months ago by C. Elk
Very informative, but slow at some times and repetitive about the situation of the producers in Ethiopia.Published 19 months ago by Manuel Farias
Perfect to learn so many things like how lucky we are and how other people in the world live in some regions.Published 23 months ago by Amy Ceritelli-Plouff
I admit, I never took the time to really understand what "Fair Trade" meant. I see it now and then, but really never paid attention. Read morePublished on June 6, 2011 by R7
Ethiopia produces some of the finest coffee available. So why are Ethiopian coffee farmers living in huts with no running water or electricity?
Where is the money going? Read more