Synopsis by Nathan Southern
Bill Haney's muckraking documentary The Price of Sugar follows the courageous Father Christopher Hartley, a social activist Spanish priest who makes the inaugural trip to his parish in the Dominican Republic. Upon arrival, he is cautioned by his superiors to avoid traversing the sugar plantations that his parishioners call home -- even as a part of regular parish visits. Hartley ignores this admonition, and is then shocked out of his mind to discover the subhuman living conditions and environment endured by the majority of plantation residents -- the environments unsanitary, subhuman and disgusting, the working demands enough to kill any man. Hartley discovers that the residents suffer from their lack of both Dominican and Haitian citizenship -- thus, the government views it as entirely unnecessary to endow these individuals with basic human rights and to treat them with restraint, respect, and dignity. Despite the virulent protests of those in "authority," Hartley bucks governmental and corporate injunctions and begins to fight for improved living conditions for the locals.
citizenship, consumerism, dispossession, Dominican-Republic, human-rights, parish, shantytown, slavery, social-injustice, sugar-cane-plantation