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Life and Debt

In: Film and Music

Submitted By biebzworld1994
Words 491
Pages 2
When most Americans think about Jamaica, they think about the beautiful beaches, warm weather, and friendly people. Evidently, there is more to the story. The everyday survival of many Jamaicans is based on the economic decisions of the US and other powerful foreign countries, as can be seen in Stephanie Black’s film. Jamaica is a country suffering from a thirty year IMF regime and multinational domination of the traditional self-sustaining, largely agricultural economy. While it relies heavily on the narration of Jamaica Kincaid and interviews, the true stars of the movie are the farmers and working people of Jamaica. These people not only understand what is going on in class terms, but can explain it eloquently. In addition, there is a group of 'rasta' men. As they sit around a campfire in the night, they explain their suffering through a combination of biblical prophecy and anti-imperialist common sense. In the 1970s, the country’s former prime minister signed a loan agreement that led Jamaica to over four billion dollars in debt. This caused a sinking economy of low-valued imports and sweatshops. In the film, we see workers working gruesome work schedules. This is all to receive only the legal minimum wage of only $30 in US money for the entire week. Many women have protested against the poor compensation and have been fired from their jobs. Doing this has also caused them to be placed on a blacklist, preventing them from ever getting work again. The country’s ports are lined with the factories of high profile companies, all which are available to wealthy corporations at low costs. No matter how long each corporations lasts in this Free Trade Zone, Jamaica is benefiting very little by the presence of the factories. Consequently, the film talks about a chicken plant. It was once very prosperous and known for its high quality chicken. The business,…...

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