Wake Up and Smell the Coffee
Black Gold
Review by Ross Anthony

Brisk and beautiful from the outset, the documentary takes viewers to coffee fields of Ethiopia. It shows how the New York stock market determines prices for this product, which often times leaves the growers in poverty.

Though the set up and intro seem to promise a more comprehensive look at growers around the world, somewhat disappointingly, the documentary limits itself to not only Ethiopia, but primarily the Oromio Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union in Southern Ethiopia. Fortunately, Tadesse Meskela, the rep of that cooperative, and virtual star of this doc, is a fine enough fellow with whom to spend your viewing evening.

Shots of the countryside are rich in color and warmth, clips of growers and families, give the production depth and connection. And the use of captions, instead of narration, gives the overall product more impact and resonance. However, its greatest flaw is its length. Even at just 78 minutes -- it's still too long. While, admirably engaging for a full 45 minutes, the documentary becomes tedious soon after that. The warm relaxing pace becomes languishing and, more or less, most of the beans have been spilt by the halfway mark. There is no kicker or payoff that makes staying tuned rewarding.

Still, it's definitely educational, an effective call to action. I'll be looking for Ethiopian and Fair Trade Coffee at the supermarket. Btw, when I lived in Kenya -- oh, I loved the coffee there!

An interesting discussion on Fair Trade can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_trade.

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  • Black Gold. Copyright © 2006.
  • Directed by Marc Francis and Nick Francis.
  • Produced at Speak it/Fulcrum.

Grade..........................B (2/4)


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Copyright © 1998-2016 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Check out his other sites too: Author*Illustrator*Speaker, Motobookothon 2009, M9, Write Triangle, TwT. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.


Last Modified: Friday, 29-Dec-2006 11:16:20 PST