UK Film Screening Features Panel with Leading Voices on World Poverty

28 November 2009 by Share The World’s Resources

Press release: The British Film Institute and Share Share A unit of ownership interest in a corporation or financial asset, representing one part of the total capital stock. Its owner (a shareholder) is entitled to receive an equal distribution of any profits distributed (a dividend) and to attend shareholder meetings. The World’s Resources will be screening the award winning documentary ‘The End of Poverty?’ at the BFI Southbank on 12th December 2009 at 2pm.

More information about the event, i...

UK Film Screening Features Panel with Leading Voices on World Poverty

26th November 2009 - Published by Share The World’s Resources

The screening will be followed by a lively panel discussion and Q&A session led by Colin Prescod, chair of the Institute of Race Relations. Panellists will include Irene Khan - secretary general of Amnesty International, Clare Short MP, the film’s director Philippe Diaz, and John Hilary - executive director of War on Want.

THE END OF POVERTY?, which gained critical acclaim following its debut at Cannes 2008 and 25 international film festivals, investigates the historical and political causes of poverty in the world. Dubbed by critics as ‘An Inconvenient Truth for global economics’, the film reveals that poverty is not an ‘accident’ but the result of military conquest, slavery and the colonisation of land and resources over several centuries.

“This film is about injustice…and inequalities which grow wider and wider every year, and about answering the daunting question: Why, in a world of so much wealth, do we still have so much poverty, where billions of people live on less than one dollar a day?,” explains Philippe Diaz, the film’s director. “Our economic system since colonial times requires cheap labour and cheap resources from the Global South to succeed and to finance our lifestyle in the North. Without changing that we will never alleviate poverty.

“Ultimately the goal of the film was to change the dialogue around the poverty debate from ‘poverty is a shame’, to ‘poverty exists for a reason’.”

Filmed over four continents from the slums of Africa to the barrios of Latin America, the documentary is narrated by the award winning actor Martin Sheen and features expert insights from: Nobel prize winners in Economics, Amartya Sen and Joseph Stiglitz; acclaimed authors Susan George, Eric Toussaint, Chalmers Johnson, and ex-‘economic hit man’ John Perkins; university professors William Easterly and Michael Watts, amongst many others.

The film explores how the causes of poverty stem from the exploitative economic system developed through the colonial era and since perpetuated through unfair trade, debt repayment and unjust taxes on labour and consumption. As Clifford Cobb of the Schalkenbach Foundation explains in the film; “The resources of the world are given to all of us, and yet a handful of people and corporations have control of them ... if we could enable everyone to benefit from those resources, we could end poverty.”

THE END OF POVERTY? has been embraced by activists and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) worldwide for its ‘direct talk’ about the role of free market policies in causing and perpetuating global poverty. Campaign groups that have endorsed the film include: Share The World’s Resources, Amnesty International, ATTAC (Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions to Aid Citizens), CADTM (Committee for the Abolition of the Third World Debt), Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP), InterAction, Jubilee Debt Campaign, Make Poverty History, Tax Justice Network, Transnational Institute, and the UN Millennium Campaign.

Following the screening, the BFI’s Delegates Centre will offer complimentary refreshments and host a range of organisations providing more information about the issues raised in the film with opportunities for discussion and campaigning.

For more information about the event, including details of panellists and how to book tickets, visit



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