Life and Debt

The International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and current globalization policies impact developing countries.

Life and debt 01
Premiere Date
August 21, 2001
90 minutes
Funding Initiative
Open Call

Stephanie Black

Stephanie Black’s filmography includes the feature-length documentary H-2 Worker, which won both Best Documentary and Best Cinematography at the 1990 Sundance Film Festival. The film was selected to be the U.S. representative in the prestigious Semaine de la Critique (Critics Week) at Cannes and won festival awards including the John Grierson Award at the American Film and Video Festival in 1991 and the Special Gold Jury Award at the Houston Film Festival 1991. Black was chief researcher and second-unit director for Incident at Oglala. Recently she directed eight episodes of Being Bobby Brown, a reality show broadcast on Bravo in the summer of 2005. She also produced and directed Africa Unite!, a documentary on Bob Marley’s 60th birthday celebration held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

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The Film

Jamaica is widely known as a land of sea, sand, and sun — a vacation destination known for its rum and its Rastafari roots. But beneath the lilting tourism board patter, Jamaica is also a prime example of the devastating impact of economic globalization on a developing country. Life and Debt dissects the “mechanism of debt” that is destroying local agriculture and industry and replacing them with sweatshops and cheap imports. Life and Debt is an unapologetic look at the “new world order” from the point of view of Jamaican workers, farmers, and government and policy officials who see the reality of globalization from the ground up.