Life And Debt
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In 1962, Jamaica won its independence from the United Kingdom, and the island nation, which had long struggled with poverty, attempted to use its agricultural resources in order to create a sound economic base. As Jamaica's financial problems grew more severe with time, prime minister Michael Manley struck a deal in 1977 with a consortium of economic institutions through the International Monetary Fund, who would loan money to the nation in exchange for removal of trade restrictions and subsidized exports. Twenty-five years later, most Jamaicans would agree that the deal drove a stake… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Powerfully illustrates what globalization has been doing to underdeveloped countries around the world."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"It's mostly persuasive in the position it argues."
‑ Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail
"It is an instructive story of exploitation."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"Its potent message deserves to be heard."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Puts a human face - many human faces - on the debt crisis and the effects of open trade on a Third World country."
‑ Joshua Tanzer, Offoffoff
"This case study of globalization's effects on Jamaica is a timely, never dull piece of agitprop that comes off as a cross between Godard's social protest docs and The Harder They Come."
‑ Ed Rampell, Variety
"... after viewing Life and Debt, the audience's way of seeing things has been quietly and powerfully changed."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"Stephanie Black puts into context the differences between the Jamaica seen by tourists and the country inhabited by its oppressed people."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"Try to imagine the most boring lecture you've ever sat through, and you might have a vague conception of what it's like watching Life and Debt."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"A powerful, intelligently-assembled documentary from American director Stephanie Black, which explores the devastating impact of globalisation upon the Caribbean island of Jamaica."
‑ ,
"Talking heads are intercut to synthesise theory and practice, but as an economic diatribe this is a bit patronising and not wholly persuasive."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"The damning commentary and revelations about the perils of globalization, not just for Jamaica but developing countries the world over, do come across loud and clear."
‑ Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
"As documentaries about economics go, this one is way, way up at the top."
‑ Andrew Rodgers,
"Here is a documentary that should be mandatory viewing for anyone interested in globalisation that, war or no war, remains one of the most contentious issues of our times."
‑ Andrew Pulver, Guardian [UK]
"As an expose of such international carpetbagging, Life + Debt is brilliant stuff."
‑ Jamie Russell, BBC
More reviews for Life And Debt on Rotten Tomatoes

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