Life and Debt

by sadafsalehi

The documentary on Life and Debt really portrays the views of what we see through a tourist vision and the people living in the country. It is portraying the standard lives of individual Jamaicans whose existence is determined by the U.S and other foreign economics. This well organized documentary opens and leads the viewers to the contrasting vision of tourists of Jamaica, Jamaican business owners, and the labourers. Stephanie Black endures her audience to see beyond the perimeter of the tourists’ areas, and to actually look behind the scenes of a place that seems so amazingly beautiful and relaxing; a place where tourist will be spending their stay at and the approaching entertainments. This document touches on how Jamaica is being pushed around by the US and other countries to meet their standards in order for them to make a living. The dark side of Jamaica really starts to shine once we take a deep look at the distressed financial system of Jamaica and how the Jamaican people are affected by it.

Stephanie Black’s purpose of this documentary is to set a vision on the situations that a “tourist” would normally miss when in a rural nation like Jamaica. The quote, “You’d be surprised to find out that every bite of food you eat comes off a plane from Miami”, which was also in the non-fiction book “A Small Place” – Jamaica Kincaid, really puts an effect on its viewers, and presumably leans toward the factor of Jamaicans labourers who are affected the most due to the standards of other nations. It is very heartbreaking when your own nation does not have the capability to sell products at a lower cost, but instead having to buy imports at a cheaper price due to Jamaican money being so devalued.

To many people this is not their first time watching a documentary, but what’s so different about Blacks documentary is how she compares and contrasts both views of Jamaica, the view of a tourist and the view of the working class. This profound technique really catches the audience’s attention and, in many ways, sends out a massage that we should always look beyond the image that is set and staged for us to see. Although the documentary is only based on a portion of Jamaica, an emotional person would find it very difficult to watch the entire documentary. In many of the scenes I personally found it difficult to view life in their perspective, especially when grown up in an industrial location. It was difficult comparing their lifestyle to mine, but defiantly changed my perspective of living standards. Overall I was amused by all the information that was given and found the documentary very interesting, but personally since I do not travel very often I would rather focus on other documentary’s which could be useful to me in the future. This is a perfect documentary to watch if you are interested to know more about the economical aspect of an area that you would desire to visit before becoming that ‘tourist’.



One Comment to “Life and Debt”

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