Questions on the film “Life and Debt”, by Stephanie Black, 2001
Key Characters in Film (in order of appearance)
-3 religious leaders sitting around the fire
-Michael Manley, Former Prime Minister
-Stanley Fisher, Deputy Director, International Monetary Fund
-Dr. Michael Witner, Professor of Economics, University of West Indies
-David Coore, Former Minister of Finance, Jamaica
-Jean-Bertand Aristide, President of Haiti
Subsidies – financial aid from government, to support business for example
Tariff – duties or charges placed on imports or exports
When did Jamaica gain independence from the British empire?
What proportion of each dollar collected by the Jamaican government was being paid against debt?
And how much was left for other government programs (like health, education)? Consider what
this means for the social determinants of health?
What examples of globalization can you see in the film? What specific examples of the negative
impact of IMF conditional loans can you pick out?
Whose interests are represented by the IMF?
How did the conditions and restrictions imposed by the IMF affect the local farmers of Jamaica and
food production (vegetables, dairy, meat)? How did the conditions imposed by the IMF prevent the
local farmers from competing in the global food market?