Release date:September 28, 2007
On an island known for its tropical beauty, tourists flock to the resorts of the Dominican Republic. Not 10 miles away, thousands of dispossessed Haitians labor in the sugarcane fields under slave-like conditions, cutting cane that will eventually end up in the United States as sugar. Narrated by Paul Newman, "The Price of Sugar" follows Father Christopher Hartley, a charismatic Spanish priest, as he organizes some of this hemisphere's poorest people to fight for their basic human rights. Father Hartley must go up against one of the country's most powerful sugar baron families, the Vicinis, and even the government of the Dominican Republic to give voice to these Haitians, frequently receiving threats to his own life. Filmmaker Bill Haney—in addition to documenting the abysmal living conditions of the cane workers—portrays a developing country trying to find balance between capitalism and the need for unskilled labor and the illegal immigrants who inevitably bear the load. "The Price of Sugar" raises key questions about where the products we consume originate, at what cost they are produced and ultimately, where our responsibility lies.