7.6/10
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17 user 29 critic

Life and Debt (2001)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 28 February 2003 (UK)
Documentary look at the effects of globalization on Jamaican industry and agriculture.

Director:

Stephanie Black

Writers:

Jamaica Kincaid (narration), Jamaica Kincaid (novel)

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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Belinda Becker Belinda Becker ... Narrator (voice)
Buju Banton Buju Banton ... Himself - Singer
Horst Köhler Horst Köhler ... Himself - Director, International Monetary Fund (archive footage) (as Horst Kohler)
Michael Manley ... Himself - Former Prime Minister of Jamaica
Stanley Fischer Stanley Fischer ... Himself - Deputy Director International Monetary Fund
Michael Witter Michael Witter ... Himself - Professor of Economics, University of West Indies (as Dr. Michael Witter)
David Coore David Coore ... Himself - Former Minister of Finance, Jamaica
Bill Clinton ... Himself - President of the United States (archive footage)
Jean-Bertrand Aristide Jean-Bertrand Aristide ... Himself - President, Haiti
Yami Bolo Yami Bolo ... Himself - Singer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tom Lipetzky Tom Lipetzky ... Himself - U.S. Potato Board (archive footage)
Kathy Owen ... News Anchor
Jerry J. Rawlings Jerry J. Rawlings ... Himself - Former President, Ghana (archive footage) (as Jerry Rawlings)
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Storyline

Documentary look at the effects of globalization on Jamaican industry and agriculture.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 February 2003 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Life & Debt See more »

Filming Locations:

Jamaica See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,902, 3 August 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$241,297, 24 March 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Tuff Gong Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Narrator: "Jamaica was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493. Not too long after, it was settled by human rubbish from Europe, who used enslaved but noble and exalted human beings from Africa to satisfy their desire for wealth and power. Eventually the masters left, in a kind of way; eventually the salves were freed, in a kind of way. Of course, the whole thing is, once you cease to be master you're no longer human rubbish, you're just a human being and all the things that adds up to; so too with ...
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Crazy Credits

Special heartfelt gratitude to the interviewees who share the truth with such eloquence. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The North Pole Deception (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Give Them the Ride
(Morgan Heritage Remix)
Written by Miguel Collins, Bobby Dixon and Coxsone Dodd (as Clement Dodd)
Performed by Sizzla
Published by XTM Sounds Publishing (ASCAP)/Zaboughabi Music/Crage Music/Jamree Music
Courtesy of the Royalty Network, Inc.
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User Reviews

 
Read it and weep, globalization supporters.
17 October 2001 | by James B.See all my reviews

This is a really tragic and shattering film. I saw it a few days ago in New York at a lower East side cinema. It is a very honest and yet artistically distinguished portrait of the demise of a Caribbean nation - Jamaica. Interspersed with the cold, hard facts of how the international community has loaned the country money at predatory interest rates, and then dumped products on Jamaica's undeveloped markets, thus destroying native industries, are scenes of tourists enjoying Jamaica's bounties, oblivious to the nature of the natives' distress.

The woman who made this film narrates it herself, and she wrote a book on the subject before she made this film. So her credentials for knowledge about the subject are very strong. She employs a few cinematic flourishes, such as the blurred-edge-of-screen effect when she shows poor Jamaicans digging about in a garbage dump. The soundtrack is replete with great reggae songs, including the potent and topical title track.

Basically, this film is more important in its 90 minutes than about a hundred typically vapid Hollywood productions stacked back to back. This film teaches you something about the world - about the exploitation of the weak, about the myth of the "helping" nature of the IMF and the World Bank, and about the everyday lives of desperately poor third world people. All proponents of "globalization" should see this film, and then be required to defend their views to the people who have been victimized by globalization's cruel and relentless march. Similarly, everyone who works for the major media in the US should see this, and should be ashamed of themselves for defending the policies that have contributed to the downfall of a proud and beautiful people such as those of Jamaica. And silence is the major defense employed on behalf of such policies.


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