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Hole in the Bucket - Drop the Debt


Source: Jubilee Debt Campaign

Jubilee Debt Campaign website

Made by the Oscar-winning director Anthony Minghella (The English Patient) for the Drop the Debt campaign, this short clip gives a powerfully personal face to the debt crisis. It was filmed in Nairobi, Kenya, with a small team of local actors. In Minghella's words: "We have been saturated by images of starving children surrounded by flies, calculated to elicit sympathy. They don't speak to us anymore."

Taking a different approach, the clip opens with an African family scratching a living in various low-paid jobs. At day's end, the family members pool their meagre earnings. Leaving their house they are transported - by the magic of film - to Waterloo Bridge in London and thence to a suburban street. Here they knock on the doors of strangers, handing them money, telling them 'this is the money we owe you'.

"I am only a filmmaker," says Minghella. "I'm the least qualified person to talk about world debt. But if someone who obviously didn't have enough money to live on knocked on my door and said, `Here's some money,' I'd say, 'No thanks, I don't want it.' But that is what we do every day by doing nothing about the unpayable debts of poor countries."



Additional Resources:

Hole in the Bucket - lyrics

Money, money, money, money?
Nothing but money

My family borrowed money from someone we never met
And every day we save up the little bits that we get
Just wanna live a simple life and sing a simple song
But there's a hole in the bucket; something's gone wrong

When we started out, they told us one thing:
That they could help us out of all the problems we're seeing
Problems brought about by colonial wars
And giant corporations who'd be opening their stores

They said: Move to the city to work in factories,
Where you can make the products we're selling overseas;
We're sure you're gonna like all the earnings we'll send
But did we tell you about the kajillion dollar rent?

Working fingers to flesh and the bone
Just to try to keep up with the interest alone
But still we keep paying to even up the score
But every day they come back and they pile up some more.

Cos there's a hole in the bucket?

We can make it right?

(End): There's a hole in the bucket; something's gone wrong.

Hole in the Bucket - lyrics www.jubileedebtcampaign.org.uk/education.
This material may be freely copied or used in other documents, as long as the source is credited.