Thursday 28 June 2007

Black Gold

Yesterday my wife went off to the USA for a holiday with our two small children to visit family. I say 'holiday', but I'm sure the flight with two children under 3 years was anything but a holiday! (God bless you, J. I love you!)

That means that for the next two weeks I get to live the bachelor life again (more or less). The house is already a mess and I've eaten pizza for the last two evenings. I'm planing to watch a whole load of movies too - mostly ones that J. would find REALLY boring. (I have my eye on a Russian black and white classic from the silent era - Battleship Potemkin). So far I've watched four movies. Tonight's one was excellent.

I went to the Irish Film Institute to watch a movie called Black Gold. It's a documentary that highlights the plight of coffee growers in Ethiopia. These people work so hard and get paid an absolute pittance for their labours while we sit back and enjoy the coffee experience in some high market coffee establishment...or even a jar of instant (bleh!) at home. One kilo of coffee beans sells for less that $1, but by the end of the product (ie. that steaming espresso) that same kilo is worth over $100! Unfair trade rules mean the poor get poorer.

The documentary followed one man's struggle to sell the produce of his farmers co-operative in order to get a fair price for the beans. I've been a supporter of Fairtrade for some time now, but this movie made it more real. I'd like to get a copy of the film so if you don't get a chance to see it you'd be welcome to come over to my place, put a pot of coffee on, and watch it with me. It may stir your conscience. It made me cry.

The biggest reason for my wife to travel to America is to see two beautiful boys, A. and B., who have recently been adopted by my sister-in-law and her family. The boys are from Ethiopia which made tonight's film a little more poignant for me.


Nick Coke said...

Good to see you're making the most of having a bit of time to yourself. You don't fancy a sneaky trip over to the StarWars exhibiton next weekend in London do you? Ooops, I guess Jane could be reading this...

Cosmo said...

That sounds like a great idea. I didn't realise that you were a Star Wars fan.

The family are all back today, but I did manage to get a few things accomplished - a couple of museums, several visits into the city, a number of bookshops browsed, about 15 movies watched and even three days at a monastery!


David said...

Thanks Cosmo. I will try to watch that film. I mean that. It would be silly to ponder a question on my site with the title I have and not want to know the answer. I had a feeling when I asked that question that I might not really want to know the answer. Sometimes I try to rationalize things. I will check out the movie. Thanks again.

Cosmo said...


I'm glad you're going to look into it. If you manage to watch it let me know what you think.

It's always good to sometimes ask hard questions. It either confirms what we already think or it changes us - or raises more questions!

Snot Head said...

See my ignorance has come out again. I am a supporter of Free Trade but mostly just because I saw something about it on a movie last year. I had no idea it was so extreme! I will keep that in mind even more so from here on out. That is just terrible.

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