Black Gold

  • Marc Francis, Nick Francis
  • England
  • 2006
  • 78 min
  • Panorama
Ethiopia is generally acknowledged as the country that produces the best coffee beans in the world. More than 15 million Ethiopians are financially dependent on coffee production. The coffee trade has just as many transparent factors as obscure ones, which results in constantly fluctuating prices. While the consumption increases and the big coffee traders who have direct ties with governments indisputably make fortunes, the small coffee planters at the bottom of the ladder have to contend with the lowest prices in 30 years. For many families, undernourishment becomes a reality once again. Filmmakers Marc and Nick Francis travelled all over the world to chart the long production line of coffee, from plantation to café. Their cinematography is precise and expressive, and the message is unmistakably political. The underlying reason for the detailed analysis in Black Gold is to make the viewer aware of the importance of fair trade. If the coffee-drinking consumer accepts his responsibility, the coffee planter will be better protected. The filmmakers have found a captivating guide in Tadesse Meskela, the spokesman for a trade union representing 74 small co-operations. He visits both the farmers and the international market, and effortlessly links the small and often harrowing stories with the bigger ones.

Credits

  • 78 min
  • color
  • video
  • Spoken languages: English, Amharic
Director
Marc Francis, Nick Francis
Production
Nick Francis for Speak-it Productions, Marc Francis for Speak-it Productions
Co-production
Fulcrum Productions
Cinematography
Marc Francis
Editing
Hugh Williams

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