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Forgive Us Our Debts

Tells the story of the international grassroots movement to eliminate Third World debt.

A printer-friendly version of this page 50 minutes
Closed Captioned

Directed by Karen Pascal
Produced by Windborne Productions
Original Score by Ray Montford
Hosted by John Dalla Costa

Made with the participation of: Rogers Telefund * Produced with the support of: The Government of Canada through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) * Developed with the assistance of: The Christian Reformed World Relief Committee and World Vision Canada * Produced with the participation of: Canada, The Canadian Film and Video Production Tax Credit * Produced with the participation of the: Canadian Television Fund, Created by the Government of Canada and the Canadian cable industry CTF: License Fee Program * And with the participation of: The Government of Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit * Produced in Association with: VISION TV

"Does a superb job of demonstrating the cycle of indebtedness on the part of developing economies...highly recommended." Michael J. Coffta, Educational Media Reviews Online
Hosted by John Dalla Costa, renowned author, global ethicist and theologian, FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS explores the steadily expanding division between the "haves" and the "have nots", an urgent international reality in which the poorest nations of the Southern Hemisphere owe more than $485 billion to their lenders in the North. Dalla Costa says "Globalization is not simply an economic issue but one that requires our ethical imagination."

FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS visits one of the world's most impoverished nations - Nicaragua - to gauge the impact of that country's indebtedness on the poorest members of their society.

Both inspiring and informative, the documentary relates the powerful story of the grassroots movement to end Third World debt, a movement that has confronted the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the G8 lenders, in each case demanding that they cancel the debts of the world's poor.

The Jubilee 2000 debt cancellation campaign was inspired by the ancient Biblical observance of "jubilee" described in Leviticus 25, as a tradition that was honored every 50th year when the sounding of a loud trumpet proclaimed liberty throughout the country. Calling for complete debt forgiveness, which at the time included the reinstatement of property ownership and the freeing of indentured slaves, the practice of jubilee granted personal freedom and provided hope to future generations.

Amongst those featured are Bono, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Sir Bob Geldof, Ann Pettifor of Jubilee 2000, and Dr. Juliet Schor, the Harvard economist.

Grade Level: 9-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2004     Copyright Date: 2001
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-101-0     VHS ISBN: 1-59458-043-X

"Students and church groups will get much from FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS, a lively, hour-long documentary that expertly surveys the debt landscape. Interviews with NGO folks, grassroots activists, and those who suffer from poor debt policies round out this exploration of how much Third World countries pay, what structural adjustment is, the role of Jubilee 2000, and who is really indebted to whom."

Molly Marsh, Sojourners Magazine
"This video puts Third World debt back on the agenda by providing a wide-ranging review and by offering multiple ways to think about it... [FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS] usefully considers the moral dimensions of debt. This helpful presentation can stimulate students to engage in classroom discussions and to do their own follow-up investigations of debt."
Professor Thomas Klak, Dept. of Geography, Miami University

"[A] strongly recommended addition to school, college, and community library collections."

The Midwest Book Review
"[Forgive Us Our Debts] does a superb job of demonstrating the cycle of indebtedness on the part of developing economies... This film is highly recommended due to its sound organization and deep examination of the issue. It is most appropriate for audiences high school age and higher."
Michael J. Coffta, Educational Media Reviews Online

Select your institution type

Business Practices
Central America/The Caribbean
Conflict Resolution
Debt Relief
Developing World
Global Issues
Human Rights
International Studies
Latin American Studies

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