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Life And Debt

Set to a beguiling reggae beat, Life and Debt takes as its subject Jamaica’s economic decline in the 20th century. The story has reverberations in the plight of other third-world nations blindsided by globalization, like Ghana and Haiti. After England granted Jamaica independence in 1962, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) stepped in with a series of loans. These loans came with strings attached–the kind that would eventually plunge the country $7 billion into debt, stranded without the resources to dig themselves out. Although IMF officials get the chance to have their say, it’s clear where filmmaker Stephanie Black’s sympathies lie–with the country’s underemployed farmers and sweatshop workers. Jamaica Kinkaid (A Small Place) penned the narration, while the soundtrack features some of the “imports” with which this island nation remains mostly closely associated: Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Mutabaruka, who performs the title track.

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Life And Debt (1h 26 min)

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