"Mine Your Own Business" premiere

Just got back from the D.C. premiere of "Mine Your Own Business" - a new documentary by Irish filmmakers Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney. It was powerful, moving and eye-opening. The film interviews impoverished locals in various countries to find out how they feel about new mine projects that are slated to begin in their towns. Well-to-do environmentalists claim on film to speak for the poor -and in the process appall the audience with their condescending and even racist views -implying that the poor really want to remain underpriviledged and without hope, and that they would waste money if they had it anyway.

While the out-of-touch enviros collect prizes for their efforts-including one for over $100,000 -the poor speak of needing something to eat and some clothes to wear. Devastating is the transparent despair of some of those interviewed -even though they scarcely show any obvious emotion. Somehow it still comes across. It will be a long time before anyone can forget this film.