PRICE OF SUGAR, THE
THE PRICE OF SUGAR (USA, 2007, 90 min.)
Thousands of impoverished Haitians are lured to neighboring Dominican Republic with the promise of good jobs, then stripped of their identification papers and put to work on sugar plantations in a modern-day version of slave labor. Harvesting cane at gunpoint and imprisoned in barbed wire concentration camps, these “sugar slaves” are starved, beaten and denied clean drinking water while privileged foreigners frolic in the waters of the tropical tourist paradise nearby. The exploitation of Haitian immigrants by sugar companies in the Dominican Republic is documented in this simultaneously enraging and uplifting film, narrated by Paul Newman. The film also profiles the eloquent and charismatic Father Christopher Hartley, a Spanish rebel priest who struggles to champion the human rights and union rights of these terrorized migrant workers, teaching them to stand up for themselves and improve their lives. The machinations of the white elite that controls not only the sugar industry, but also the media, to mold public opinion in their favor, setting two impoverished cultures of the Dominicans and Haitians against each other, expands the film’s scope to larger issues. Directed and produced by Bill Haney, co-produced with Eric Grunebaum.
Shown with COOKING WITH BRASS (CUISINE EN FANFARE). Introduced by Annie Kaempfer, Executive Director, Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital.
Avalon members, $6.50; Avalon Senior Members, $5.50; Seniors/Students/Military, $7; Nonmembers, $9.75. For tickets, please visit www.theavalon.org and click on “Special Events” or purchase at the door.