Movie Analysis : ' Black Gold '

1996 Words8 Pages
Jaclyn Krantzler
Matt McKay
GEO 3502 Economic Geography
March 11, 2016
Film 2 Reaction Paper: “Black Gold” Part I:
Summarize the film, highlighting the key points accordingly.

The film highlights the fact that coffee is the most valued word commodity, second to oil. The beginning of the film shows the process in which coffee is made- from bean harvesting by workers in Ethiopia who make next to nothing, through several intermediated stages, and into the market. Although we spend countless amounts of money on coffee without thinking twice, the price that coffee farmers who produce this commodity are getting paid, is disgustingly low. Some of them have even been forced to walk away from their fields. There is no better place to see this
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Following Meskela’s journey, the film demonstrates the power held by multinational corporations (MNCs) in setting the price of coffee. He wants a solution, but what happens with commodity traders, the international coffee exchanges, and the World Trade Organization (WTO), he is faced with challenges in finding that. Meskela worked diligently to eliminate the players who tend to come in between the buyers and the sellers. Instead, he went directly to the buyers to ask for a fair price. The fair-trade movement embraced his cause as they work to bring supposedly fairly-traded commodities to grocery stores in America. The film shows the WTO convocation where ministers of trade for countries like Ethiopia share their struggles of being outright ignored and left out of negotiations and they decline the agreements that were forced upon them. At this point in the film, there is a move to look broadly at the WTO, where it goes back to showing Ethiopia’s poor coffee farmers who have to turn to farming chat instead of coffee. Chat is a narcotic plant that people can chew and it is ten times more profitable than coffee. Since it sells for a higher price, farmers have turned to cultivating this instead. The final statistic of the film is that if Africa’s share of world trade increased by only one percentage point, it would generate $70 billion a year, five times what the continent receives in aid.

Part II:
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