“A sort of ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ for global economics…a powerful description of how Western policies since colonialism have subjugated Third World countries.”

-Charles Masters, The Hollywood Reporter






LOS ANGELES (October 2009) – In February, the World Bank issued this stunning report: the spreading global economic crisis is set to trap up to 53 million more people in poverty in developing countries; this is on top of the 130 -155 million driven into poverty in 2008 by soaring food and fuel prices, bringing the total of those living on less than $2 a day to over 1.5 billion.  This dynamic, where the rich are bailed out – or carried by – the poor is the focal point of a new documentary film directed by Philippe Diaz, which has been impressing critics and economic justice activists worldwide and will be released in US theatres nationwide.

Award-winning actor and activist, Martin Sheen, provides the narration for THE END OF POVERTY? that connects the dots from colonialism to modern times in an indictment of the creation of the free market system – the system now blamed for the worst global recession in decades.

After premiering at Critics’ Week during the Cannes Film Festival and subsequently invited to over twenty-five international film festivals, the film will open in New York City on November 13, 2009, and in Los Angeles on November 25, 2009 with a platform release to include runs in Seattle (WA), Portland (OR), Austin (TX) with additional markets to follow including Boston, San Francisco, Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Atlanta.  The film was produced in association with the New York based non-profit, Robert Schalkenbach Foundation, and will be distributed by Cinema Libre Studio.

“There has been a lot of dialogue in the last few years about ‘the end of poverty’ with technology or micro-financing positioned as the new ‘solution,’” says filmmaker Diaz.  “For example, economists such as Jeffrey Sachs cheerfully suggest that poverty can be ended with increased transfers of capital and technology (such as improved mosquito nets), the film shows why that kind of thinking is simplistic at best, harmful at worst.  More foreign aid does nothing to rectify the cumulative problems from centuries of exploitation.”

Filmed in the slums of Africa to the barrios of Latin America, THE END OF POVERTY? explores how the true causes of poverty stem from actions taken during and since colonial times to perpetuate exploitation:  first by forcing people from their land and their access to natural resources, then through unfair trade, debt repayment and unjust taxes on labor and consumption.  This system was carefully built and maintained by free market policies, resource monopolies and structural adjustment programs by the World Bank, the IMF and other international financial institutions.

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Page 2 – The End of Poverty?

The documentary features:  Nobel prize winners in economics Amartya Sen and Joseph Stiglitz; expert authors Susan George (“Another World Is Possible If”), Eric Toussaint (“The World Bank: A Never Ending Coup d’Etat”), John Perkins (“Confessions of an Economic Hit Man”), Chalmers Johnson (“Nemesis: The Last Days of the America Republic”), Brookings Institute fellow and author, William Easterly (“White Man’s Burden”); government ministers such as Bolivia’s Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera, and leaders of social movements in Bolivia, Brazil, Venezuela, Kenya and Tanzania.

The film has since been embraced by activists and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) worldwide for its ‘direct talk’ about the role of debt, free trade, and neo-liberal policies and poverty.  Groups including: Action Aid Greece, Amnesty UK, ATTAC (Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions to Aid Citizens), CADTM (Committee for the Abolition of the Third World Debt), Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP), InterAction, Jubilee Debt Campaign, Jubilee USA, Jubilee Australia, Make Poverty History, Share the World’s Resources (STWR), Tax Justice Network, Transnational Institute, and the UN Millennium Campaign have screened the films as part of their anti-poverty campaigns in the past year.

Synopsis: The End of Poverty? is a daring, thought-provoking and very timely documentary by award-winning filmmaker, Philippe Diaz, revealing that poverty is not an accident. It began with military conquest, slavery and colonization that resulted in the seizure of land, minerals and forced labor. Today, global poverty has reached new levels because of unfair debt, trade and tax policies — in other words, wealthy countries exploiting the weaknesses of poor, developing countries such that today 20% of the planet’s population uses 80% of its resources and consumes 30% more than the planet can regenerate.

Produced by Cinema Libre Studio with the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation, 104mins, 2008, USA, documentary in English, Spanish, and French with English Subtitles.

More information as well as trailer, clips and images for download are available at with additional information to be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Theatrical roll-out includes the following theatres/cities:

NEW YORK – Starts November 13

City Cinemas Village East Cinema (181-189 Second Ave. (@ 12th St.)

LOS ANGELES  – Starts (Wednesday)  November 25

Laemmle’s Sunset 5 (8000 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, 90046)

Culver Plaza Theatres (9919 Washington Blvd., Culver City, 90232)

PORTLAND, OR – Starts December 4

Living Room Theaters (341 SW Tenth Avenue, Portland, OR 97205)

SEATTLE, WA – Starts December 4

Regal Meridian 16 (1501 7th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101)

AUSTIN, TX – Starts December 18

Regal Arbor Cinema @ Great Hills (9828 Great Hills Trail Suite 800, Austin, TX 78759)

About Cinema Libre Studio:

Cinema Libre Studio has been a leader in the distribution social issue films that tackle timely issues.  The company is a haven for independent filmmakers offering one-stop shopping for production and distribution. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the company is best known for distributing social-issue documentaries that include: Outfoxed, Uncovered, WMD: Weapon’s of Mass Deception, Darfur Diaries, The Future of Food, A River of Waste, Desert Bayou and The Beautiful Truth.  The company has recently released the films of French auteur Jean-Jacques Beineix and has partnered with Iranian director Masoud Jafari Jozani to bring the first film crew to shoot in US since the Iranian revolution. For more information, please visit

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Media Contacts:

New York and LA Media:

Sasha Berman
Shotwell Media
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Santa Monica, CA 90405

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Other requests:


Cinema Libre Studio

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Canoga Park, CA  91304

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