The Coca-Cola Case
Directed by German Gutiérrez and Carmen Garcia. In English and Spanish with English subtitles. Unrated. Plays Friday to Sunday, April 30 to May 2, and Wednesday, May 5, at the Vancity Theatre
The allegations against Coca-Cola corporation reported by Canadian documentarists German Gutiérrez and Carmen Garcia are certainly extensive: links to the murderers of trade unionists in Colombia and Guatemala; drying up village wells in India; collaborating with genocidal maniacs in Sudan. Two U.S. courts have dismissed these allegations, but if this film doesn’t make you join the Pepsi Generation, nothing will.
Watch the trailer for The Coca-Cola Case.
The heroes of the piece are three quixotic men on a mission. Daniel Kovalik and Terry Collingsworth are American labour lawyers who joust with the soft drink giant for eight long years. Ray Rogers is an American political activist who founded the Stop Killer Coke campaign. Their antagonists include not only the fabulously wealthy—and largely invisible—“sugar water” kings of Atlanta, but also a bunch of economics students at the University of Chicago, one of whom sports a sign reading “Fuck human rights”.
Interestingly enough, The Coca-Cola Case was coproduced by the NFB, the government film body that once shelved Denys Arcand’s On est au cotonis about working conditions in the Quebec textile industry on the grounds that it was excessively anticapitalist. Who knows? Now that the Conservative government is doing everything in its power to dry up the funding sources for brave, independent documentaries such as this, maybe the film board feels it no longer has anything to lose.