Black Gold Review

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Documentary about injustice inherent in the global trade of coffee from Africa.


This well-meaning documentary on the institutionalisation of greed centres on Ethiopian Tadesse Meskela’s attempts to bypass the commodity exchanges in order to strike the fair trade deals that will deliver the 70,000 members of his Oromo Coffee Farmers co-op from starvation.

British directors Marc and Nick Francis also pay tribute to the likes of Italian Ernesto Illy, whose determination to give the growers a better percentage contrasts with the machinations of the multinationals. But when it comes to tackling those who profit from the iniquities of the global economic system, the brothers allow them to damn themselves with naive or smug pronouncements.

While it may prompt some to think again next time they're in Starbucks, this astute insight into the coffee business is better at lauding the good guys than taking the multinationals to task for the iniquities of the global economy.