The Price of Sugar
The Price of Sugar

The Price of Sugar

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    • Directed by: Bill Haney
    • Released: 2022 (educational)
    • Year of Production: 2007
Running Time: 90 min
Language: English, Spanish
Subtitle Options: English Closed Captions
Subjects: Race Power and Privilege, Global Studies, Caribbean Studies

On the Caribbean island of the Dominican Republic, tourists flock to pristine beaches, with little knowledge that a few miles away thousands of dispossessed Haitians are under armed guard on plantations harvesting sugarcane, most of which ends up in US kitchens. Cutting cane by machete, they work 14 hour days, 7 days a week, frequently without access to decent housing, electricity, clean water, education, healthcare or adequate nutrition. The Price of Sugar follows a charismatic Spanish priest, Father Christopher Hartley, as he organizes some of this hemisphere's poorest people, challenging the powerful interests profiting from their work. This film raises key questions about where the products we consume originate, at what human cost they are produced and ultimately, where our responsibility lies.

Amnesty Award Winner at the 2008 Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival, Audience Award Winner at the 2008 SXSW, NAACP 2008 Nominee Image Award - Outstanding Documentary (Theatrical and Television)
"Unlike some other political docus, this one boasts a guarded sense of optimism. Hartley, along with Peace Corps volunteers and doctors whom he brought from the U.S., has made an appreciable difference in the lives of the workers. Although the priest has been threatened with expulsion from the country, he has managed to win some slight but measurable improvements in the working conditions on the plantations. Yet the film still makes us think about our own responsibility for the lives of people whose products we eagerly consume while remaining blithely ignorant about the social conditions under which those goods were manufactured. The filmmakers deserve credit for opening our eyes."
— Hollywood Reporter

About the filmmaker 



Bill Haney is a filmmaker, inventor and entrepreneur. As a writer, director and producer of both narrative documentary films, he has won The Gabriel Prize, A Silver Hugo, The Earthwatch Award, A Marine Conservation Award, and an Amnesty International Award. Chosen as Global Leader of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum, he has won an Humanitarian Award from Harvard Medical School, a Distinguished Service Award from the Senior Olympics, the Slow Food Prize, a Genesis Award, an Achievement Award from the ACLU, been repeatedly nominated for a NAACP Image Award, been short listed for an Oscar and won the Pare Lorentz Award.


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