The Price of Sugar
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Bill Haney's muckraking documentary The Price of Sugar follows the courageous Father Christopher Hartley, a social activist Spanish priest who makes the inaugural trip to his parish in the Dominican Republic. Upon arrival, he is cautioned by his superiors to avoid traversing the sugar plantations that his parishioners call home -- even as a part of regular parish visits. Hartley ignores this admonition, and is then shocked out of his mind to discover the subhuman living conditions and environment endured by the majority of plantation residents -- the environments unsanitary, subhuman and… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Price of Sugar is designed to educate, outrage and finally spur viewers to action. That it does so with vibrant visual style and an engaging narrative makes it that rare consciousness-raising film that's not only good for you, but a joy to watch."
‑ Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
"Haney doesn't strive for balance, and he doesn't have to; the images speak for themselves."
‑ Lael Loewenstein, Los Angeles Times
"These Haitian sugar slaves are starved, beaten, disappeared, malnourished, and lacking uncontaminated drinking water, even as other far more privileged foreigners frolic in the waters of the DR's tropical tourist paradise nearby."
‑ Prairie Miller, NewsBlaze
"Uplifting and enraging in equal measures, Bill Haney's The Price of Sugar is a powerful issue-driven documentary that also happens to have one of the most compelling heroes of any movie this year."
‑ Jim Hemphill, Reel.com
"A vivid, visual experience that will easily convince skeptics that slavery is alive and well."
‑ Harvey S. Karten, Compuserve
"It's been conceived and executed as an instrument of human rights and a tool of shame. But it's the political controversy that's at the heart of this movie -- the contempt that one poor country feels toward its somewhat poorer neighbor."
‑ Wesley Morris, Boston Globe
"The tainted relationship between the dessert on our tables and the suffering of those who produce it gets a horrifying workout in Bill Haney's multilayered account of Haitian cane cutters in the Dominican Republic."
‑ Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly
"... even those naturally sympathetic to the film's position may feel like they're taking their medicine."
‑ Andy Klein, Los Angeles CityBeat
"A portrait of a modern-day saint, a courageous Spanish Catholic priest in the Dominican Republic with a ministry of compassion to poor, enslaved Haitian immigrants. One of the best documentaries of the year."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"In the end, this is a fevered tale of an outsider, spurred on by his belief in God, who believes his role in life is to save a people, and for a while it seems he is making a difference. What film can top that nowadays?"
‑ Brandon Judell, New York Theatre Wire
"In this compelling documentary, narrated by Paul Newman, Hartley comes off as a man of intense will, and he needs to be."
‑ Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle
"Illuminating and deeply distressing."
‑ Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News
"[A] no-frills doc, which isn't done any favors by Newman's monotone narration."
‑ Chad Greene, Boxoffice Magazine
"Few will doubt the priest's claims given the Dominican Republic's appalling human-rights record; one only wishes they had been explored in an objective documentary format."
‑ Maria Garcia, Film Journal International
"The director's investigation has a clear-sighted persuasiveness, as well as a formidable, complex central figure in the person of Father Christopher Hartley."
‑ Nick Schager, Slant Magazine
More reviews for The Price of Sugar on Rotten Tomatoes