Life and Debt
Life and Debt is a documentary explaining some of the adverse effects of globalisation on a developing country, using Jamaica as an example. The documentary explains that when the International Monetary Fund (IMF) issues loans to developing countries there are usually conditions attached which encourage international free-trade.
Life and Debt includes interviews from Jamaican banana, onion and dairy farmers telling their experience of sharp declines in their business following increased competition from overseas. The documentary also has several interviews from Michael Manley (the Prime Minister of Jamaica at the time that the first IMF loan was accepted), explaining his reluctance to accept the loan but feeling that the economic circumstances gave him no choice. The IMF deputy director Stanley Fischer also provides some explanation of the reasons for attaching free-trade conditions to loans to developing countries.
The documentary (directed by Stephanie Black) makes a lot of good points but is definitely not presented from an impartial point of view. Those looking for a reasoned debate weighing up both sides of the situation may prefer to supplement their research with information from other sources.
Also included in Life and Debt is footage of tourists enjoying a vacation at a luxury hotel, with Belinda Becker reading extracts from Jamaica Kinkaid book "A small place" in an accusatory tone, seemingly criticising foreign tourists for not being aware of the harder side of life in Jamaica. It is not entirely clear how these segments are related to the central argument of the adverse effects of the conditions attached to the IMF's loans or why these tourists were being singled out for derision for spending their money in Jamaica (however unevenly this money will be distributed)© 2014 Jamaica Travel and Culture .com