Response to Life & Debt

First off, let me just say that I loved this documentary. And I love so few documentaries.

I loved the honesty of the people who offered interviews, their knowledge of the subject and the simplicity with which they explained each issue. For somebody who doesn’t really “get” math or science or pretty much anything that isn’t 17th century metaphysical poetry, I really appreciated the simplicity of it all.

But what I loved the most was the juxtaposition of the tourists with the natives.

Heart-breaking isn’t quite the word I’m looking for.

Wrenching? Yes, but there’s more. Shocking? Little closer.

I’m thinking more along the lines of baffling or flabbergasting. Though the other words are alright, too.

Watching the ludicrosity of the tourists next to the natives really shoved me into reality. (Maybe I made up the word “ludicrosity,” but that is the best word I can think of for this.) How many times have I been those tourists? How many times have I ignored the signs of the negative effects of America’s capitalist agenda? All to enjoy myself.

It seems so ridiculous. That the IMF would hold developing countries to such restrictions, profiting off of their economic failure––failure that was caused by the loans the IMF gave out of their “generosity.” Perhaps I don’t have a good understanding of the relationship between the IMF and the world, but this is how I see it: they give you money so that you can grow just enough for them to sell all of their product to you at a price that drives your local economies out of business, leading to dependence of one on the other. And that to me just seems so incredibly ridiculous. People sat down in a room to discuss how to take advantage of the poor, some time ago. How did that conversation go?


“I have an idea, Dan.”
“Yes, Dave, what is it?”
“Let’s pray on poor countries to make even more money for, like, two whole countries.”
“Which countries, Dave?”
“Like, basically just America and maybe the UK Dan.”
“Hmm sounds alright but I don’t think it’s insane enough, Dave.”
“Wait, let me finish Dan.”
“Alright, finish, Dave.”
“We make it look like we’re helping them by giving them money, but then we force huge interest rates so we make EVEN MORE money”
“That is GENIUS Dave, let’s do it everywhere.”

That actual human beings sat down to discuss the fates of other human beings, and arranged these fates so that only the arrangers could win just boggles me. Who gave them the right? I don’t understand it. I just wish there was some way I could help or reverse all that’s happened.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Arianna Pullin says:

    I also really liked the movie. I actually saw this movie in high school last year so I was able to notice some things that I hadn’t before. I think the IMF is a bunch of BS in this situation Also I agree, this movie gave me insight to how I should behave as a tourist. I think because of this film I will be more aware of what I do.


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