Sugar: Not a Pretty Story

The Price of Sugar Tells a Bitter Story


Dispossessed Haitian workers, many of them children, toil on plantations in the Dominican Republic, harvesting the cane that is refined into American sugar.Denied medical care, sick from unhealthy diets, unable to leave their temporary homes, the Haitians exist in a state of near-slavery. Guards on horseback toting rifles keep order on behalf of landowners, who employ the Haitians. In this near-feudal society, the landowners have all the power. Meanwhile, not far away, wealthy Americans and Europeans lounge on sparkling beaches, unaware of the oppression nearby.It’s not a pretty picture, but few Americans would know about it if they didn’t see “The Price of Sugar,” an award-winning documentary directed by Bill Haney. The movie depicts the drama involved in Dominican sugar production and the fierce campaign of a Spanish priest who worked to make conditions better. The film is full of color and conflict, good guys and bad, and it makes the ritual of putting sugar into one’s morning coffee a lot more awkward. 


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