BLACK GOLD (Nick and Marc Francis). 78 minutes. Some subtitles. Opens Friday (August 4). For venues and times, see Movies, page 91. Rating: NN Rating: NN
It's ironic that a film about coffee fails to keep you awake.
Brothers Nick and Marc Francis give us too much information, jet us to too many places and clutter the screen with too many statistics to let us properly digest the unfair trading practices involving the world's favourite hot caffeinated beverage.
That's too bad, because along with the easy shots at perky young Starbucks employees and one silly barista competition, there are powerful glimpses of poverty in Ethiopia, where a tiny drop in the New York Stock Exchange coffee trading price can affect whether a village will eat or not.
The Francis brothers fail to find a compelling and consistent human hook for the film. Ethiopian coffee farmers co-op representative Tadesse Meskela comes close, but the directors haven't shaped his story effectively.
After its success at Sundance, this informative but dull film comes as a bitter disappointment.