Multinational coffee companies now rule our shopping malls and supermarkets and dominate the industry worth over $80 billion, making coffee the most valuable trading commodity in the world after oil.
But while we continue to pay for our lattes and cappuccinos, the price paid to coffee farmers remains so low that many have been forced to abandon their coffee fields.
Nowhere is this paradox more evident than in Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee. Tadesse Meskela is one man on a mission to save his 74,000 struggling coffee farmers from bankruptcy. As his farmers strive to harvest some of the highest quality coffee beans on the international market, Tadesse travels the world in an attempt to find buyers willing to pay a fair price.
Against the backdrop of Tadesse‘s journey to London and Seattle, the enormous power of the multinational players that dominate the world‘s coffee trade becomes apparent. New York commodity traders, the international coffee exchanges, and the double dealings of trade ministers at the World Trade Organisation reveal the many challenges Tadesse faces in his quest for a long term solution for his farmers.
Director: Marc Francis & Nick Francis
Everyone's Child tells the story of four siblings, Itai, Tamari, Norah and Nhamo, whose parents have both died of AIDS. After a traditional funeral, the villagers, ignoring custom, shun the orphans because of the stigma of AIDS. Their guardian, Uncle Ozias, a struggling small businessman, sells the family's plow and oxen to pay off their father's debts. Without the means to support themselves, the family inevitably disintegrates.
Nhamo's death finally convinces Uncle Ozias and the other villagers of their responsibility to help the three remaining children rebuild their lives. Everyone's Child offers its audience no easy answers: an official of an NGO tells the villagers that the problem of orphans is so wide-spread they cannot look to outside agencies or government for relief but must create their own self-reliant solutions.
The audience watches this painful tragedy unfold knowing there is no one but adult society (in other words themselves) who can save children like these. As the now familiar African proverb says: "It takes a village to raise a child." If a Zimbabwean film can forthrightly call upon that country's citizens to shoulder the burden of insuring adequate parenting for every child, one is left to wonder why American society with all its wealth regards this goal as hopelessly Utopian.
Director: Ismael Ferroukhi
From: France/ Morocco
Language: French/Arabic with English subtitles
Dreams of Dust
Mocktar, a Nigerien peasant, comes looking for work in Essakane, a dusty gold mine in Northeast Burkina Faso, Africa, where he hopes to forget the past that haunts him. In Essakane, he quickly finds out, the gold rush ended twenty years before, and the inhabitants of this wasteland and strange timelessness manage to exist simply from force of habit. The beautiful Coumba, however, is still courageously struggling to raise her daughter after the death of her family. Mocktar will soon be fighting not only to survive, but also to provide a better future for this mother and her child.
Director: Laurent Salgues
From: Burkina Faso
Dreams of Dust
Based on the true story of a black girl who was born to two white Afrikaner parents in South Africa during the apartheid era. The movie showed that great perseverance can make just as much difference as the obstacles. The plot focused on the obstacle of being colored in a white world or family for that matter as this white family tried to raise their daughter that looked black in South Africa. Black people were being treated as beneath whites but Sandra was taught by her father to "never give up".
Sandra showed great strength throughout the movie as the movie had highs and lows from fun or intense moments to feeling the sad emotions. It was presented in such a way that the audience could feel what was going on in many scenes. The acting was great with the facial expressions as all of the actors in the movie assumed their character.
Director: Anthony Fabian
Country: UK/South Africa
Time: 107 min
Celebrating our Humanity
"Ubuntu, Ngumuntu, Ngabantu-
I am because we are"