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Life and Death the Movie Response Essay

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Life and Death the Movie Response
After its independence from British colonial control and support in 1962, Jamaica struggled until it was almost wiped out financially by the gas and oil price wars of the early 1970s.
Life and Death is a film about the conditions in Jamaica and its struggles. The movie starts with the images of its beautiful beaches on a sunny day and the arrival of a group of American tourist. The commentator stated that the City of arrival is Montego Bay and not Kingston Jamaica, which is the largest city and the capital, she also stated that the only document that is required to enter the country is a Driver license contrary of the majority of countries around the world that require a Pass port. However, what many people who travel to this country don't see is the high level of poverty, and vast sense of human desperation and hopelessness.
As you arrive in Montego Bay, you can exchange currency at the airport and there is a shuttle driver waiting to take you to your destination. Due to Jamaica was under British colony everyone drives on the left side of the street and not on the right. The Shuttle toke them through some narrow street and poor neighborhoods which show some of the conditions the people of the island live in and base on the narrator some of them has no running water or sewerage...
The prime minister during that time was Michael Manley, and he was talking about the approached to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to secure sovereignty loans which he was able to get on a short term instead of a loan term and with those financial difficulties the millions needed came at a very stiff price. The IMF imposed unusual conditions and internal policy ideas some of which were not to use the money to build any Hospital and limited the amount that could be used for education and that virtually destroyed the country, propelling it into a deep poverty and high crime.
On the island, the poultry, dairy products and banana industries have all basically been destroyed. And still the globalize forces of the G7, the WTO, and the United States of America continue to pressure the country for more import and export concessions, and for the citizens of Jamaica is a matter of Life and Death.
One segment of the movie addressed the free trade zone in which the females work sewing five to six days a week for American corporations to earn the legal minimum wage of $30.00 ($1500.00 Jamaican dollars a week). The port of Kingston is lined with high-security. Factories made available to foreign garment companies at low rent. These factories are offered with the additional incentives like being allowed to bring in ship loads of material tax-free to have them assembled and then immediately transported out to foreign markets. Over 10,000 women currently work for foreign companies under sub-standard work conditions. The government, in order to ensure the employment offered, has agreed to the stipulation that no unionization is permitted in the free trade zone. Previously, when the women have spoken out and attempted to organize to improve their wages and working conditions, they have been fired and their names included on a blacklist ensuring that they never work again.
Another segment tells the story of a chicken plant which had a flourishing business selling high-quality chicken to the domestic market. Business has recently been undercut by US, dumping of low grade chicken into parts of Jamaica. While there are many restrictions on food and goods exported to foreign developing countries. Agreement such as NAFTA and the Caribbean Basin Initiative function to enforce this inequality under the guise of free trade...
Life and Debt aim to clarify the impact that these economic policies have on the day to day lives of the people they are said to benefit. The IMF promotes an agenda of monetary austerity currency devaluation and lowering wages. The goal is to reduce inflation by balancing nation’s loans repayment s, and the result is usually a recession.
The World Bank Policies are supposed to benefit third world economies by integrating these countries into the Global Market. What actually happen is that Third-World Countries suffer, while commercial banks in the North collect a great deal of interest. In Jamaica, only 5% of total money borrowed since 1977 has been able to stay inside the country.
The lessons of Jamaica where these policies have been, in effect, for nearly twenty-five years extend far beyond its shores. In nearby Haiti, former President Aristide was pressured to accept a loan from the IMF suffering from the stringent conditions prescribed by the Fund
Throughout Africa, countries struggle to meet schedule adjustments. Life and Debt the movie is a tribute to the ingenuity and strength of the people who defy the odds of survival.…...

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