Global poverty did not just happen. Yet the overwhelming magnitude of poverty seems unsolvable. Can we really end poverty within our current economic system?
In this award-winning documentary, narrated by Martin Sheen, we see the historical foundation that, for over five centuries, laid the groundwork for today’s financial crisis. It began with military conquest, slavery and colonization (often in the spirit of missionary zeal) that resulted in the seizure of land and minerals and in forced labor. Today, the problem persists because of the structuring of debt, trade and tax policies. The “End of Poverty” (2009) reveals a co-dependency in which the southern hemisphere provides cheap resources for the northern hemisphere without a way out of financial indebtedness and towards economic independence. The dependency is necessary to prop up the industrialized nation’s standard of living.
The film begins with the premise: since 20% of the planet’s population uses 80% of its resources and consumes 30% more than the planet can regenerate, the northern hemisphere lifestyle mandates that more and more people have to sink below and remain below the poverty line.
For anyone wanting to understand not only the US economic system but the foundations of today’s global economy, this is a phenomenal documentary without the eyeball-glazing snooze of economists’ jargon.
Instead of trying to shock you or force you to a specific conclusion, “The End of Poverty” leaves the viewer with images and personal accounts. It is not about poverty as a whole, but poverty in Third World countries. It is an educational opportunity to become aware of the history of global expansion, trade and the role of religion in the commerce of modern times.