My husband often will point out certain movies that are going to be “falling off” of Netflix — i.e., they are available via streaming, but will shortly be unavailable. I’ve no idea how he comes by this information, but he does, and sometimes we end up watching a movie or show we’d never heard of before then.
That’s how we found out about the documentary The End of Poverty? The description on Netflix said:
Exploring the history of poverty in developing countries, filmmaker Philippe Diaz contends that today’s economic inequities arose as a result of colonization, military conquest and slavery, with wealthier countries seizing the resources of the poor.
Which sounded like a bunch of “blame the rich” liberal drivel, but we wanted to see their arguments. Turned out to be not so much drivel, after all.
We did have a problem with how they characterized capitalism — they seem to equate it with colonialism and imperialism, which really isn’t — but this film opened my eyes to some things I hadn’t previously known or understood very well, and it actually DID make an excellent case for the premise that today’s poverty is a direct result of colonization, conquest and slavery. The seizing of resources from poorer people by those who have more money and power still happens today, but it’s disguised to look like “here, let us help you” instead of outright theft.
Have you ever heard of the water wars in Bolivia? I hadn’t. Water was privatized — control of ALL water was given to ONE private company. Even RAINWATER. It became illegal to collect rainwater. All water had to be purchased from this private company, at whatever price they set. There was an interview of a man who didn’t even make enough money to pay for his family’s water each day, let alone anything else.
Although I did know about the not-so-pure motives and methods of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in their ways of “helping out” struggling countries via loans with strings attached, I wasn’t aware of the outrageous control that they exert, and how it actually ends up destroying economies and infrastructure, and the country’s ability to stand on its own. Sometimes, as part of the IMF loan package, a country must agree to produce a certain crop for export, sometimes they have to stop producing certain things and agree to import those instead. It can lead to a monoculture type of agriculture, which is asking for disaster (Irish potato famine, anyone?)
The End of Poverty? is no longer streaming on Netflix, but I found it on youtube, and have linked it in below.
Really, you need to watch this documentary.
But it’ll make you mad if you’re paying attention.