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Cuba - Hombres de Azucar| 55mins
Director: Gerard Bouvier | Producer: Rencontres
Focus Years: 2008 | Country: France
Subject Tags: americas, cuba, farming, livelihood, poverty
Quality Tags: Optimistic, Slow, Activating, Harmonizing
“Hombres de Azucar (Men of Sugar)” is the story of a “zafra”, a cane harvest, in the eastern provinces of Cuba, in today's critical climate for the sugar cane industry. The film explores the U.S. embargo, the end of Soviet aid, the import of food/fuel/fertilizers/equipment and spare parts in dollars, a continuous drought that has been setting in for several years, and the collapse of sugar production and its market price. This whole context has meant that the Cuban sugar industry must seriously adapt in order to survive. For three months the sugar plant, its cooperatives, its sugar factory and its villages live to the rhythm of the cane harvest: pay according to performance, competition, dollar bonuses, plus the constant call to patriotism and revolutionary spirit. There was a time when the cane workers could proudly think that they were fueling their country's economy and fighting against the U.S. embargo. But those days are over.

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