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Bullfrog Films

is a leading source of educational DVDs & videos, with a collection of over 700 titles in these main subject areas:

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Cuba Series
Cuba: The Accidental Revolution - Pt. 1
Sustainable Agriculture

Examines Cuba's response to the food crisis created by the collapse of the Soviet Bloc in 1989.


A printer-friendly version of this page 45 minutes
Closed Captioned

Directed by Ray Burley
Produced by CBC's "The Nature of Things"
Written by Ray Burley
Executive Producer: Michael Allder
Editor: Bruce Annis
Director of Photography: Milan Klepl
Hosted by David Suzuki





"Anyone interested in ecologically sustainable development...will find this documentary thought provoking." Gregory Biniowsky, Canadian Development and the Environment Consultant living in Cuba
Sustainable Agriculture examines Cuba's response to the food crisis created by the collapse of the Soviet Bloc in 1989. At one time Cuba's agrarian culture was as conventional as the rest of the world. It experienced its first "Green Revolution" when Russia was supplying Cuba with chemical and mechanical "inputs." However, the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 ended all of that, and almost overnight threw Cuba's whole economic system into crisis. Factories closed, food supplies plummeted. Within a year the country had lost over 80% of its foreign trade. With the loss of their export markets and the foreign exchange to pay for imports, Cuba was unable to feed its population and the country was thrown into a crisis. The average daily caloric intake of Cubans dropped by a third.

Without fertilizer and pesticides, Cubans turned to organic methods. Without fuel and machinery parts, Cubans turned to oxen. Without fuel to transport food, Cubans started to grow food in the cities where it is consumed. Urban gardens were established in vacant lots, school playgrounds, patios and back yards. As a result Cuba created the largest program in sustainable agriculture ever undertaken. By 1999 Cuba's agricultural production had recovered and in some cases reached historic levels.

The other title in the series is:

Pt. 2 Health Care System - In spite of the economic crisis and US embargo, the Cuban health system is an outstanding success story around the world.



Grade Level: 10-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2007     Copyright Date: 2006
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-674-8     VHS ISBN: 1-59458-673-X




Reviews
"Anyone interested in ecologically sustainable development and humanity's future in the context of depleting resources in the 20th Century will find this documentary thought provoking."
Gregory Biniowsky, Canadian Development and the Environment Consultant living in Cuba

"If necessity is the mother of invention, then this vivid and beautifully filmed documentary shows how the Cuban people have faced adversity and austerity with a dogged inventiveness since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the start of the 'special period' beginning in 1990. The film will be especially useful and instructive for viewers looking to solve the riddle of how Cuba has survived a depression-like upheaval while struggling to maintain enviable standards of social security for its people."
Ted Henken, Ph.D., Sociology Department, Baruch College and Board Member, Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy

"A useful film for undergraduate and high school teaching of human geography and agriculture...Raises some useful questions and offers possible solutions for students of international development...What was the impact of the reforms? How self-sufficient is Cuba today in terms of essential foodstuffs? What basics does Cuba still need to import (rice, beans, meat and dairy products, vegetable oils, livestock feed)? How do nutritional intake levels compare with needs? How does Cuba compare with other Latin American countries? How has the balance between social equity and personal liberty been managed? And what have been the consequences of policies implemented; in terms, for example, of contentment, migration or the open and hidden economies?"
Mike Carter, Centre for International Development and Training, United Kingdom, The International Journal of Cuban Studies

"Engaging, substantive....Both parts of this visually pleasing documentary would make an superior accompaniment to print materials in classes on Caribbean history, international health or social welfare."
Dr. Holly Ackerman, International and Area Studies Department, Duke University Libraries

"An excellent account of a sophisticated and sustainable farming strategy, which could be taken by other countries as a model for a climate-changed, post-oil world."
Geraldine Lievesley, Manchester Metropolitan University, Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability


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Links
Interview with Dr. Fernando Funes Sr.
The Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology



Awards and Festivals
Yorkton Short Film & Video Festival
Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Festival

Subjects
Agriculture
Anthropology
Central America/The Caribbean
Developing World
Energy
Environment
Food And Nutrition
Food Sovereignty
Gardening
Geography
Global Issues
Health
History
Humanities
International Studies
International Trade
Latin American Studies
Political Science
Renewable Energy
Social Psychology
Sociology
Sustainability
Sustainable Agriculture
Sustainable Development


Related Titles

Argentina: Hope in Hard Times
The Argentine people, in the face of economic collapse, provide a hopeful example for the rest of us.

Argentina: Turning Around
An intimate view of new models of work, politics and community development in Argentina.

Another World is Possible
A rousing account of the 2002 World Social Forum that will inspire activists everywhere.

The Human Race
Is the western model of global development sustainable in a finite environment?

The Ecological Footprint
Dr. Mathis Wackernagel introduces the Ecological Footprint, a resource accounting tool that measures human demand on the Earth.

Brazil's Land Revolution
In the state of Bahia, a new initiative encourages the landless to band together to buy up land -- with low-interest government loans.

Buyer Be Fair
Looks at the benefits of fair trade goods and product certification for people and the environment.

Peanuts
A hand-operated peanut-sheller makes a difference in the lives of villagers around the world.

Cultivating Change
Garden tour that proves that growing food can be an avenue to social change.

Food
Devising a sustainable food system -- one that is healthy, accessible, and affordable.

Cultivating Opportunity
Hard-pressed farmers in the southeast US and in Mozambique find co-ops work.

My Father's Garden
Explores sustainable agriculture and the contrast between chemical and organic farming.

Broken Limbs
Looks at the plight of apple growers in the age of globalization, and points the way to sustainable US agriculture.

Life Running Out of Control
Thorough examination of the issues surrounding the genetic manipulation of plants, animals and human beings.

Beyond Organic
A model of community supported agriculture in the midst of suburban sprawl.

Global Gardener
Permaculture helps people turn wastelands into food forests.

We Feed the World
Vividly reveals the dysfunctionality of the industrialized world food system and shows what world hunger has to do with us.

Lovins on the Soft Path
Hunter and Amory Lovins make the case for energy efficiency and energy conservation.

Forgive Us Our Debts
Tells the story of the international grassroots movement to eliminate Third World debt.

Silent Killer
Highlights promising attempts in Africa, and in South and Central America, to end world hunger.


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