The bean stops here. In this revelatory journey, Marc and Nick Francis travel from coffee shop to coffee farm, tracing the vast inequities existing in between. In the impoverished nation of Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee, the filmmakers meet Tadesse Meskela, a representative of a coffee grower's collective dedicated to improving the lives of its 70,000 member farmers. Meskela criss-crosses the globe seeking fair prices and contending with a $55 billion coffee industry that cares little that his farmers make less than 50 cents a day. As prices for beans plummet, farmers begin replacing coffee crops with narcotics, which command sustainable prices. Will Meskela return to the lush, green farms of Harare with good news? Black Gold takes what could have been a typical advocacy piece and infuses it with wit and liveliness. (MF)

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