The Real Thing: Coca, Democracy and Rebellion in Bolivia.

6 June 2006

Bolivia, 2004, directed by Jim Sanders.

What did I find most interesting about this film? It was not the inexcusable exploitation of the indigenous people of Bolvia by massive multinational corporations like Coca Cola, no surprises there. The documentary makers highlighted something I had not considered in the past, the coca plant is part of Bolivain culture and that just because it’s cultivation by unscrupulus organistions and individuals drives international drug trafficing – the plant cannot simply be exterminated. It is a very complex situation, evident in the US governments plans to introduce “alternative industries” to provide other surceses of income for farmers. The naiveity of the solutions is astounding, such as the introduction of banana plantations – complete with a marketing plan to introduce a ‘bananas in schools’ program. You have to see it to believe it.

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