ADJECTIVES like “inspiring,” “powerful” and “remarkable” are all par for the course in the film industry when a new multi-million blockbuster goes on general release.
Often, these superlatives are undeserved or, at best, exaggerated. So readers of the News are entitled to be sceptical about the potential impact of the new Black Gold documentary film featured in pages one and three of this issue.
Of course, opinions will vary on the effectiveness of the film medium in raising awareness and promoting social change. But – unless viewers have a heart of stone – Black Gold will enthral and enrage in equal measure.
The quiet dignity and sheer dogged determination of the film’s ‘star’ Tadesse Meskela as he strives to secure a fair deal for Ethiopian coffee farmers deserves to spark a worldwide wave of outrage and indignation that will eventually lead to massive changes in trading policies.
Whether it does or not is up to all of us in the west – multi-nationals, governments, the World Trading Organisation. Above all, it’s about people power and if enough people react to the film by pressurising the powers that be to take action, there is no limit to what can be achieved.
The film makers are hoping a quarter of a million Britons will see Black Gold by the end of April. With Fairtrade Fortnight 2007 the ideal launchpad, our Movement needs to ensure this aspiration becomes a reality.
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