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Saturday
Mar112017

A Bridge Between Two Worlds (2016)

In 2000, humanitarian Gilles Raymond moved from Quebec to the Indonesian island of Flores, whose corn and red bean exports netted their impoverished residents a meager $900 per year. Working with a Catholic charity, Raymond created the Otonomi program, through which Canadian sponsors provide seven-year, interest-free "honour loans" to help Indonesian counterparts become ginger farmers (this crop can more than double a family's income). Pascal Gelinas' documentary, A Bridge Between Two Worlds, profiles Raymond's efforts to help a nation find its way out from under a brutal and impossibly corrupt military dictatorship. Raymond works with governments but is not beholden to them, and he insists on a direct link between donors and recipients. Gelinas presents his subject as a bridge not only between West and East, but between slavery and prosperity, making this film a hopeful, unofficial bookend to Joshua Oppenheimer's The Act of Killing and The Look of Silence.

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