I was already off the burgers before I saw the upcoming Fast Food Nation, but can’t a guy even enjoy his cup of coffee in peace? Actually, Black Gold may not disturb your morning java as much as it should. Directors Marc Francis and Nick Francis take an ambling, impressionistic approach to demonstrating how corporations rip off impoverished Third World farmers so we can have those $4 lattes. The focus is on an Ethiopian co-op manager hunting for independent buyers to get his growers a fair deal, and he’s got an uphill fight. Cutting from a Starbucks manager exclaiming how his company’s goal is to “touch people” to images of a famine-stricken region where Starbucks gets its beans, the film’s arguments can be specious. (Couldn’t there be climatological or political reasons why the kids are starving?) Neither does it offer many suggestions on what can be done. Perhaps the Web site posted at the end will provide a more bracing brew.
On the Web
Black Gold's Web site: http://www.blackgoldmovie.com/