directed by Stephanie Black
USA 2001


Director Stephanie Black's documentary, Life and Debt, explores the economic and political fallout of globalization in Jamaica. With newsreel clips and current interviews, including extensive discussion with former Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley, we are able to follow the whirlpool of financial debt that results when the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank seemingly prohibit 3rd world countries from finding a prosperous outlet by utilizing their own workforce and natural resources. Once they are in this spiral of debt they will never recover. Jamaica is seen as a tourist hot spot for many, beautiful sandy beaches with warm weather and gorgeous scenery.... but this film shows the other side of the coin with introspection on their failed dairy and banana industry and influx of corporate business such as McDonalds and Burger King. What is left is a heartfelt look at a dieing country with a population left with few alternatives.  out of  

Gary W. Tooze

Theatrical Release: April 22nd, 2001 - Los Angeles Film Festival

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DVD Review: New Yorker -  Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution New Yorker - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:26:06
Video 1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio - widescreen 16X9 enhnaced
Average Bitrate: 7.92 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo) 
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

DVD Release Date: June 24, 2003
Keep Case
Chapters: 20

Edition Details:
• Color, Widescreen
• Commentary by director Stephanie Black
• Theatrical trailer
• Additional footage from Michael Manley's interview (17:32)
• Music video by Anthony B.
• Photo gallery
• Soundtrack excerpts
• 8 page liner notes


This is a good DVD from New Yorker. Vibrant colors and a fairly tight anamorphic picture. The sound was clear and acceptable with some decent reggae music played as an adjunct. It has some valuable extras including a commentary from the director and an extension of the interview with former Prime Minter Manley. One complaint - I would have liked to see some subtitles as the Jamaican accent was kind of difficult to follow all the time. New Yorker put some real effort into this and it shows. out of              

Gary W. Tooze

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