We at p.h. balanced films LOVE films
that raise awareness of important issues! Here are several documentary films and a brief description (where available, from their official sites) that address issues of human rights abuses, supply chains, and corporate accountability. If you know of more that we should add to our list, give us a shout!
The Big Banana: A film set in Cameroon, where “[t]ropical fruit such as banana, pineapple or mango are widely cultivated for export toward the west, generating millions dollars profit to agro industrial companies,” about how the expansion of fruit companies “to meet the western demand” leads to “expropriating farmers with the help of the local government, leaving land owner, and small farmers with nothing to fend for themselves and their families.”
Blood in the Mobile: This film is the story about how our phones are connected to illegal mining in Congo (DRC). Every time we communicate through our cell phones we are associated with the crimes in Congo.
Big Boys Gone Bananas: This amazing film recounts the lawsuit that Dole brought against the Swedish filmmaker for making the film Bananas!
The Coca-Cola Case: Directors German Gutierrez and Carmen Garcia present a searing indictment of the Coca-Cola empire and its alleged kidnapping, torture and murder of union leaders trying to improve working conditions in Colombia, Guatemala and Turkey. The filmmakers follow labour rights lawyers Daniel Kovalik and Terry Collingsworth and an activist for the Stop Killer-Coke! Campaign, Ray Rogers, as they attempt to hold the giant U.S. multinational beverage company accountable in this legal and human rights battle.
Food, Inc.: This film reveals “that farming — of corn, soy and almost all other crops — is now almost completely controlled by several huge (and unsympathetic) corporations. For example, Monsanto has patented the strain of soy that is most widely grown and has found ways of prosecuting farmers who strive to avoid using their genetically engineered seed.”
Inside Job: This film “provides a comprehensive analysis of the global financial crisis of 2008, which at a cost over $20 trillion, caused millions of people to lose their jobs and homes in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and nearly resulted in a global financial collapse.”
Black Gold: This film takes a close look at the coffee industry, specifically “in Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee. Tadesse Meskela is one man on a mission to save his 74,000 struggling coffee farmers from bankruptcy. As his farmers strive to harvest some of the highest quality coffee beans on the international market, Tadesse travels the world in an attempt to find buyers willing to pay a fair price.”
Bananas: This documentary recounts the lawsuit that 12 Nicaraguan plantation workers brought against the fruit giant Dole Food Company.
Beyond Corporate Social Responsibility:
“Successful toy manufacturer and Ethos Institute founder Oded Grajew is the leader of a powerful movement focused on ending child labor in Brazil. In this visit with Grajew, he offers his vision for a more effective form of corporate responsibility — an evolved engine for social change and economic stability. Grajew teaches how both corporations and individual consumers can make significant social impact, particularly in emerging economies.”
Deadly Deception: The documentary that addressed corporate accountability before doc films were docs were taking on such issues!
In the words of film organization Groundspark, this 1991 Academy Award®- winner for Best Short Documentary “uncovers the disastrous health and environmental side effects caused by the production of nuclear materials by the General Electric Corporation. The film juxtaposes GE’s rosy “We Bring Good Things to Life” commercials with the true stories of people whose lives were devastated by the company’s involvement in testing and making nuclear weapons.”
Hot Coffee: “Because almost everyone has heard about the McDonald’s coffee case, and most people believe they know what it’s about, this project has a fascination for people. Of course, we go much further into the debate than just the McDonald’s coffee case, but the case is a vehicle for people to think about their long held beliefs and whether they are valid.”
King Corn: This film is an overview for the American consumer of what food production has become in the U.S. Though the role of companies isn’t addressed in detail, you do get a sense of how companies such as Monsanto, ADM, Cargill, and Bayer impact what we eat. (Read more