The Corrosive Effects of Colonialism: An Analysis of the Black Gold
In Black Gold, a documentary released in 2006, director Marc Francis and producer Nick Francis examine the effects of colonialism on Ethiopia by focusing on the coffee industry. The film paints a vivid picture of the history of Ethiopia and the coffee industry, and its consequences on the country’s population. By exploring the relationships between coffee production, market forces, and global trade, the filmmakers reveal the highly exploitative nature of colonialism and its impact on the Ethiopian people. The documentary begins by showcasing the country’s coffee production and its global reach. It explains how coffee was Ethiopia’s main export for centuries, and how its production was monopolized by the Italian colonial administration in the early 1900s. In one scene, the filmmakers interview a local worker who recounts how the colonialists used Ethiopian’s labor to cultivate and harvest coffee beans, but never paid them for their work (Black Gold). This example underscores the oppressive nature of colonialism and the exploitation of the Ethiopian population. The effects of colonialism are further demonstrated through the documentary’s examination of the effects of global markets on Ethiopia’s coffee industry. The film reveals how large-scale coffee companies and multinational corporations have been able to drive down prices and create a volatile industry that has forced many of Ethiopia’s small-scale coffee farmers out of business. This has resulted in a severe drop in wages and rising levels of poverty across the country (Black Gold). Cont…
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