UC Berkeley Library

Business & Economics in Latin America & the Caribbean

Birdsong and Coffee: A Wake Up Call

Explores the inextricable economic and environmental connections between farmers in Latin America, coffee drinkers in the U.S., and the fate of migratory songbirds throughout the Americas.

Bitter Cane.

This expose takes an in-depth look at the history and modern day realities of Haiti. Shows how the traditional system of semi-feudal agriculture is being replaced by foreign-owned modern plantations and an industrial sector where hundreds of factories are mushrooming around the capital, enticed by tax incentives and cheap labor. The exploitation of labor reinforces the class system and economic underdevelopment of the country. Includes interviews with peasants, landowners, merchants, and U.S. businessmen and touches on the consequences for U.S. workers and Haitian refugees.

Black Sugar.

Examines the mistreatment of Haitian laborers hired to cut sugar cane on plantations owned by the Dominican Republic State Sugar Council. Describes fraudulent recruitment promises, the practice of confiscating workers' official papers, extremely low wages, and the squalor, disease, and hunger of the work camps. 1989. 58 min.

Borderline Cases: Environmental Matters at the United States-Mexico Border.

A documentary describing the consequences of 25 years of environmental neglect by factories along the U.S./Mexico border focusing on the cities of Brownsville, Matamoros, Tijuana, San Diego, Ciudad Juarez and El Paso. It chronicles the 5 year bi-national effort to craft remedies to the border's deteriorating environmental conditions by a diverse mix of people of both countries from grass-roots activists to government, academic and industrial leaders. 1997. 65 min.

Brazil. (Emerging Powers)

Examines Brazil's changing economy. Brazil has the largest economy in Latin America, but a long history of inflation and corruption. Includes an interview with President Fernando Henrique Cardoso describing the steps his administration has taken to open up and privatize Brazil's market. Includes interviews with Rogerio Braga who is transforming Brazilian orange farming, with Jose Midlin who is a global power in autoparts and a visit to Sao Paulo's fast-growing stock exchange. 1996. 50 min.

Deadly Embrace: Nicaragua, The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Discusses the role of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in the destruction of the Nicaraguan economy. Explains how structural adjustment, the international debt crisis, and free trade are hurting the people and economies of Third World countries. 1996. 30 min.

Dirty Business: Food Exports to the United States.

Discusses the move of multinational agribusiness to Mexico and the problems they are creating due to environmental pollution and low wages for workers. c1990. 15 min.

GATT, What's That?: or Afta NAFTA Where are Worker's Rights?

Through interviews with Nikos Valance of the Foundation for Economic Democracy and Hector Figuerao of the A.C.T.W.U. this program takes a harsh look at the results of NAFTA and GATT and the future predictions and strategies for labor organizing. 1995. 28 min.

Geraldo Off-line

Part 2 of a series on how the globalized world economy affects ordinary people. Geraldo da Sousa worked his way out of a shanty-town in Brazil into a job in a Ford car factory. Then he was told he no longer had a job because of the financial meltdown in faraway South East Asia. Was that just an excuse or the harsh reality of the new globalized economy? In this film, with the help of investigative journalist Jon Alpert, Geraldo sets out to find out. 2000. 24 min.
Related web sites: Description from Bullfrog Films catalog

H-2 Worker.

From WWI to the 1990s, 10,000 Caribbean men were chosen yearly by American sugar corporations to harvest sugar cane for six months in Florida under temporary "H-2" visas. This film exposes the brutal, systematic exploitation of these Jamaican guest workers by the Florida sugar cane industry. Today this documentary provides an invaluable resource to understanding the current debate over guest worker provisions of immigration legislation.

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