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Documentary screening: Black Gold March 25, 2008

Posted by Andreas in "The Economy", activism, Cape Town, Film screening, Politics, Society, South Africa.

While You Were Sleeping is doing another doucmentary screening in Cape Town. This one’s about coffee:


Black Gold, a beautifully shot documentary that explores the story behind the billion dollar industry which get’s the world going every morning will be shown at the Labia on Orange cinema in Cape Town on Sunday 30 March at 6.15pm, on Monday 31 March at 8:30pm and on Tuesday 1 April at 8:30pm.

Few of us ever consider what it takes to get that precious cup of coffee onto our breakfast tables every morning. You may be interested enough to know that the beans came from Jamaica, Colombia or Indonesia, but did you know that coffee is the most valuable trading commodity in the world after oil and that multinational companies dominate the global coffee industry which is worth over $80 billion.



While we continue to enjoy our daily lattes and cappuccinos, the price paid to coffee farmers is so low that many have been forced to abandon their coffee fields and are facing bankruptcy. Nowhere is this paradox more evident than in Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee. Black Gold dramatically juxtaposes the abject poverty of Ethiopian coffee growers with the luxurious coffee-house culture of the affluent First World.

It tells the story of Tadesse Meskela who travels the globe in an attempt to find buyers willing to pay a fair price for the 74 000 struggling Ethiopian coffee farmers he represents. Against the backdrop of Tadesse’s journey to London and Seattle, the enormous power of the multinational players that dominate the world’s coffee trade becomes apparent. New York commodity traders, the international coffee exchanges, and the double dealings of trade ministers at the World Trade Organisation reveal the many challenges Tadesse faces in his quest for a long term solution for his farmers.

Watch the trailer:


If you are a coffee drinker, you owe it to yourself and to the millions of poor coffee farmers around the world to find out more about your favourite brew. Do you buy Fair Trade coffee? Did the people who grew the beans for your last cuppa get a good enough price to make a decent living for themselves and their families? Watch Black Gold and hear their story.

For more information consult the official Black Gold website: www.blackgoldmovie.com.

The screenings will be followed by a facilitated audience discussion. Tickets are R20 and can be reserved by calling The Labia at (021) 424 5927. Reserving tickets is strongly recommended to avoid disappointment.

This event is presented by The Labia and While You Were Sleeping, a Cape Town-based non-profit film collective committed to bringing progressive, non-mainstream documentaries with important social and environmental messages to South African audiences.

A small selection of progressive books will be on sale at the venue.


The Labia:

(021) 424 5927

While You Were Sleeping:

Andreas Späth

084 772 1056




How much do you spend of coffee each day? And what proportion of that goes to the coffee farmer? Find out with the Black Gold Coffee Calculator


Buy Fair Trade coffee and make a difference!



1. blackstone - March 26, 2008

I heard of this! The coffee calculator is ridiculous!

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