The Price of Sugar

Chances are that the sugar you stirred into your coffee this morning came from the Dominican Republic, where the sugar cane was cut by a malnourished Haitian working 12 hours a day, every day, under armed guard, and with little access to clean water or medical care. Narrated by Paul Newman, Bill Haney’s documentary The Price of Sugar shows how Haitian peasants are promised good wages and a better life east across the border that divides the island. Aided by the Dominican government, sugar companies strip them of their citizenship papers and force them to toil in cane fields for pennies a day, like slaves. With the bad guys established, Haney introduces his charismatic hero, Father Christopher Hartley, who fights for the workers’ rights. The revelations in Price are sobering, and Hartley is a courageous, compelling character—even if depicted a bit one-dimensionally. (NR) SIFF Cinema, 321 Mercer St. (McCaw Hall), 448-2186, www.seattlefilm.com. $5-$10. 7:30 p.m. (Repeats Tues. April 22.) HUAN HSU

Mon., April 21, 7:30 p.m.; Tue., April 22, 7:30 p.m., 2008

 
comments powered by Disqus