You may change your mind about eating candy bars after you see the documentary film The Dark Side of Chocolate. Danish journalist Miki Mistrati went undercover in West Africa hoping to expose the truth about the brutal working conditions suffered by children as young as seven and eight years old who, having been sold by their families, were forced to work on cocoa plantations. Using covert recording equipment, Mistrati filmed beaten, scarred and malnourished children cutting, hauling and processing cocoa.
The Ivory Coast produces more than 40 percent of the world’s chocolate, making it a mecca for human traffickers who pay as little as $50 to buy a child and transport him over the border to work at a plantation. Mistrati doesn’t lay all the blame at the feet of the traffickers and plantation owners. International corporations including Nestle, Mars and Barry Callebaut signed an agreement in 2001 promising to eradicate child labor in the cocoa industry by the year 2008. Three years after the deadline, few changes have been made and thousands more children have been victimized.
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The screening is presented by the Houston Rescue & Restore Coalition. 7 p.m. Copperfield Church, 8350 Highway 6 North. For information, call 713-874-0290 or visit www.houstonrr.org. Free.
Tue., Sept. 13, 2011