After premiering at Critics’ Week during the Cannes Film Festival and subsequently screening at twenty-five international film festivals, a powerful new feature length documentary that has been impressing critics and economic justice activists worldwide, will be released nationwide starting in New York (at Village East Cinema) on November 13, 2009, followed by Los Angeles on November 25, 2009 (at Laemmle’s Sunset 5) with a platform release to follow.
Award-winning actor and activist, Martin Sheen, provides the narration for THE END OF POVERTY?, directed by Philippe Diaz, which connects the dots from colonialism to modern times in an indictment of the creation of the free market system, the system now blamed for the worst global recession in decades. The film was produced in association with the New York based non-profit, Robert Schalkenbach Foundation, and will be distributed by Cinema Libre Studio.
“Most of the experts interviewed in the film had predicted the current economic crisis more than two years ago, when we started to film, explaining that a system based on a neoliberal policies and the fraudulent trickle-down theory can only collapse one day or another.” says filmmaker Diaz. “It is great that Michael Moore is attacking the bankers and the financial establishment in his new film, but the end of greed on Wall Street will not end poverty in the world. The problem is much deeper than that: it is centuries old. Our economic system since colonial times requires cheap labor and cheap resources from the global South to succeed and to finance our lifestyle in the North. Without changing that we will never alleviate poverty. “
Filmed in the slums of Africa to the barrios of Latin America, THE END OF POVERTY? explores how the true causes of poverty stem from actions taken during and since colonial times to perpetuate exploitation: first by forcing people from their land and their access to natural resources, then through unfair trade, debt repayment and unjust taxes on labor and consumption. This system was carefully built and maintained by free market policies, resource monopolies and structural adjustment programs by the World Bank, the IMF and other international financial institutions.
The documentary features: Nobel prize winners in economics Amartya Sen and Joseph Stiglitz; expert authors Susan George (“Another World Is Possible If”), Eric Toussaint (“The World Bank: A Never Ending Coup d’Etat”), John Perkins (“Confessions of an Economic Hit Man”), Chalmers Johnson (“Nemesis: The Last Days of the America Republic”), Brookings Institute fellow and author, William Easterly (“White Man’s Burden”); government ministers such as Bolivia’s Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera, and leaders of social movements in Bolivia, Brazil, Venezuela, Kenya and Tanzania.
The film has since been embraced by activists and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) worldwide for its ‘direct talk’ about the role of debt, free trade, and neo-liberal policies and poverty. Groups including: Amnesty UK, ATTAC (Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions to Aid Citizens), CADTM (Committee for the Abolition of the Third World Debt), Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP), InterAction, Jubilee Debt Campaign, Make Poverty History, Tax Justice Network, Transnational Institute, and the UN Millennium Campaign, shared the film with thousands of activists, educators and politicians during the “Week of Action Against Poverty” and during the Stand Up Take Action events this past October.
The End of Poverty? is a daring, thought-provoking and very timely documentary by award-winning filmmaker, Philippe Diaz, revealing that poverty is not an accident. It began with military conquest, slavery and colonization that resulted in the seizure of land, minerals and forced labor. Today, global poverty has reached new levels because of unfair debt, trade and tax policies -- in other words, wealthy countries exploiting the weaknesses of poor, developing countries such that today 20% of the planet's population uses 80% of its resources and consumes 30% more than the planet can regenerate.
Produced by Cinema Libre Studio with the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation, 104mins, 2008, USA, documentary in English, Spanish, and French with English Subtitles.
More information as well as trailer, clips and images for download are available at www.TheEndofPoverty.com.
About Cinema Libre Studio:
Cinema Libre Studio has been a leader in the distribution social issue films that tackle timely issues. The company is a haven for independent filmmakers offering one-stop shopping for production and distribution. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the company is best known for distributing social-issue documementaires that include: Outfoxed, Uncovered, WMD: Weapon’s of Mass Deception, Darfur Diaries, The Future of Food, A River of Waste, and Desert Bayou and The Beautiful Truth. The company has recently released the films of French auteur Jean-Jacques Beineix and has partnered with Iranian director Masoud Jafari Jozani to bring the first film crew to shoot in US since the Iranian revolution. For more information, please visit www.cinemalibrestudio.com.
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