Black Gold


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Nick Francis and Marc Francis
Completed 2005 Runtime 78



Multinational coffee companies now rule our shopping malls and supermarkets and dominate the industry - worth over $80 billion - making coffee the most valuable trading commodity in the world after oil. But while we continue to pay for our lattes and cappuccinos, the price paid to coffee farmers remains so low that many have been forced to abandon their coffee fields. Nowhere is this paradox more evident than in Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee.

Long Synopsis

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.

Against the backdrop of Tadesse's journey to London and Seattle, the enormous power of the multinational players that dominate the world's coffee trade becomes apparent. New York commodity traders, the international coffee exchanges, and the double dealings of trade ministers at the World Trade Organisation reveal the many challenges Tadesse faces in his quest for a long term solution for his farmers.

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What people
have said

EXCELLENT - angry, good-humoured and essential


Remarkable - A moving but scandalous story. Black Gold has extraordinary power

The Telegraph

Provocative and well made

Sight & Sound
Watch the
trailer here