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End of Poverty?, The (DVD Review)

25 Apr, 2010 By: Angelique Flores

Street 4/27/10
Cinema Libre
Box Office $0.06 million
$24.95 DVD
Not rated.

The End of Poverty? is a grim documentary that will hit hard for anyone with a social conscience. As its title suggests, the documentary traces in detail the roots of poverty in order to make suggestions to end it.

The experts interviewed — economists, authors, professors, historians, government officials — point to the year 1492 as the start of this global catastrophe. Conquistadors from Europe came to South America and Africa, took over the land of the indigenous and pushed them into slave-like conditions that still exist.

They argue that colonialism has led to a monopoly of power and resources that perpetuates poverty. The wealthy in Europe and the United States get richer, while the poor get poorer.

The film offers startling statistics of the unbalanced distribution of wealth and poverty-related deaths as well as first-person accounts of impoverished workers from all over the world and former U.S government employees who helped the United States keep these poor countries under its thumb.

Some of the experts argue that if the indigenous were able to own and completely use their own land, the balance would be restored.

The leftist views of the film are pretty anti-capitalist. But whatever side of the political spectrum you may fall on, it’s hard to refute the appalling levels of poverty that affect so much of the world.

The disc has a bonus featurette on the Stawi Youth and Adult Center in Kibera, Kenya, where HIV rates have skyrocketed. The center helps take care of those infected with HIV and educates them as well as others not infected about the disease.

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