Monday, June 29, 2009
From the Ground Up
Recently had the chance to check out the documentary From the Ground Up, a coffee documentary that does exactly what the title says; takes the viewer on a journey from cherry to peddled beverage.
As coffee documentaries go, it was decent. It had great footage of coffee picking, the wet process, drying, sorting, bagging, exporting and importing. If you've never seen it done, I imagine it would be somewhat confusing as much of the film had no narration and thus, one unfamiliar with what was going down could get lost. But even if you didn't know the lingo, the film made it all pretty easy to follow. Also, the film really makes one aware of the hard work the farmers go through for so little and thus indirectly pushes better conditions (the film is also directly dedicated for more than fair trade).
The only stabbing annoyance in the film stemmed from the soundtrack, which consisted of a singular old-timey song called the Java Jive (here it is performed by the Manhattan Transfer) played in spurts throughout the whole film. If you're one easily annoyed by such a song beaten to death, I would recommend putting the film on mute unless you see someone talking.
Overall, grab From the Ground Up if you're curious to how coffee gets to your local purveyor or you really wish to raise your awareness on what people go through so you can enjoy your morning cup.