The Price of Sugar Isn't so Sweet

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As I watched “The Price of Sugar”, it became very clear that the situation of the inhabitants of Haiti and the Dominican Republic could easily be related to the concepts of Enrique Dussel with regards to his notion of social sin. Due to the extreme poverty levels of the population of both countries, the people living there are easily taken advantage of and become instrumentalized by those higher in power. Furthermore, the powerful members of society are also able strip the dignity from these people by means of how desperate each family really is. Through many of the acts seen in the movie, I found that “The Price of Sugar” strongly reflected the beliefs and ideas introduced by Enrique Dussel.

To start, a prominent aspect of Dussel’s “Eclipse of the Other” theory is the instrumentalization of a human being. This phenomenon can be explained in terms of the “I” and “thou” relationship, developed by Martin Bueber. Normally, if you were to address another person, you would treat them on the same level as yourself, using an “I” and “thou” mentality. The process of instrumentalization occurs when the “I” and “thou” method is no longer followed, and instead, switches to the “I” and “it” relationship. By referring to another human being as “it”, he/she is no longer being treated on the same level as you, but rather, on the same grounds as an object or an instrument.

The perspective of instrumentalization in Dussel’s theory is evidently shown in several parts of the movie. It is obvious that the people of Haiti are being treated as non-human beings simply after understanding their working conditions in the bateys. Each worker makes less than 90 cents per day, which is not nearly enough to support a child’s education or to feed a single family. This theme is also present when the narrator describes how all the new Haitians workers need to quickly scramble onto each loading bus, or the supervisors will proceed to injure them with clubs. These harsh truths undoubtedly...
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