Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The End of Poverty Documentary Review

The End of Poverty? (2008) is a startling documentary that brings comprehension to the origin of global poverty. The opening question by narrator Martin Sheen sets the direction of the film; "In a world where there is so much wealth, with modern cities and plentiful resources, how can we still have so much poverty where so many people must live on less than one dollar per day?"

Philippe Diaz (director) has managed to teach us about the current state of world poverty through understandable facts, interviews, and history. The people impacted by poverty are interviewed in their home countries of Kenya, Bolivia, Brazil, Venezuela, and Tanzania. Their lives and stories are heart-wrenching; they don't want handouts, just the ability to make a fair wage and to live with respect while being treated properly. Economists, professors, authors, historians, and government officials from the UK, USA, India, France, and the above countries provide deeply insightful information and commentary.

It will amaze you at how we have arrived at the current situation around the globe. The complex reasons are presented so that we can understand. Major drivers of world poverty are economic and money policies, governments, capitalism, and colonization dating back to the 15th century. Attempting to give you a brief history would not do the film justice; instead I will offer some powerful facts that were presented in the film.

  • 70 million people live in modern day slavery
  • The gap between the richest and poorest country was 3 to 1 in 1820 and 74 to 1 in 1997
  • Germany is the largest coffee exporter...but doesn’t grow coffee
  • 1/3 of global population has no access to clean water
  • 1 billion people live on less than a dollar a day
10 out of 10 - A potent look at poverty from the comfort of the theater! Yes, that was intended make you ask, why? After viewing this documentary you will know. Premiers November 13, 2009 in New York, NY; for the full release schedule visit the official website and Demand It! for your area.


  1. FYI we only went to Bolivia, Brazil, Venezuela, Kenya and Tanzania for our poverty stories.

    Thanks for the great review! Big screening at the UN tonight.

  2. Thank you Matt,

    Enjoy the screening tonight; that will be an amazing experience at the UN! I updated the review to correct the countries.

    (For other readers: I had inadvertently listed Sudan and Chile. They were discussed in the film but, film did not take place there)

  3. I hope they end poverty because I am always broke and living in my parent's basement. Every so often they throw me down a Klondike bar or a bag of Fritos.