The Price of Sugar (2007)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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"The Price of Sugar" follows a charismatic Spanish priest, Father Christopher Hartley, as he organizes some of this hemisphere's poorest people, challenging powerful interests profiting from their work. When he arrives in the Dominican Republic, he's warned against entering the sugar plantations where most of his parishioners live. Breaking a centuries old taboo, he discovers shocking examples of modern-day slavery intrinsic to the global sugar trade. On an island known for tropical beauty, tourists flock to escape winter and relax with little knowledge that just a few miles away thousands of dispossessed Haitians are toiling away in unseen plantations harvesting sugarcane most of which ends up in the United States. Cutting cane by machete, they work 14 hour days, 7 days a week frequently without access to decent housing, electricity, clean water, education, healthcare and adequate nutrition. Often they are stateless, with neither Dominican nor Haitian identity and virtually invisible in the eyes of the law.
Documentary , Special Interest
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Critic Reviews for The Price of Sugar

All Critics (19) | Top Critics (10)

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.

Full Review… | November 15, 2007
Washington Post
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | November 9, 2007
Boston Globe
Top Critic

In this compelling documentary, narrated by Paul Newman, Hartley comes off as a man of intense will, and he needs to be.

Full Review… | November 2, 2007
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Haney doesn't strive for balance, and he doesn't have to; the images speak for themselves.

Full Review… | October 19, 2007
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

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.

October 18, 2007
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

Illuminating and deeply distressing.

Full Review… | September 28, 2007
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Price of Sugar

This movie makes me want to move to Dominican Republic and volunteer for Fr Hartley. It tells the story of how Haitian workers are exploited and subjected to racism in the sugar plantations of the Dominican Republic. Very disturbing eye-opener to this cruel form of modern slavery. Well worth watching.

Catriona Thomas
Catriona Thomas

For the most part, very insightful on an area I knew practically nothing about. It hits on some issues and glazes over others, which kind of bugged me, but it doesn't feel like it was done to mute one side of the issue; it feels more like there just wasn't enough time in the film.

Trent Johnson
Trent Johnson

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