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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.