The film “Poverty, Inc.” will be shown at Hope College on Saturday, April 2, at 7 p.m. at the Knickerbocker Theatre in downtown Holland, with a panel discussion and audience question-and-answer period following.
The public is invited. Admission is free.
“Poverty, Inc.” examines the rise of charity as a multibillion dollar poverty industry. The film has earned 40 international film festival honors and was recently selected to the “Best of Fests” category in IDFA Amsterdam, the biggest documentary festival in the world. It has screened in 16 countries and at numerous colleges and universities, sparking a fast-growing grassroots dialogue to ignite change around the world.
Peter Debruge of Variety described the film as “A diverse and instructive collection of real-world case studies … Poverty, Inc. provides genuine food for thought.”
The film argues that the West has positioned itself as the protagonist of development, giving rise to a vast multi-billion dollar poverty industry—the business of doing good has never been better. Yet, the film notes that the results have been mixed, in some cases even catastrophic, and leaders in the developing world are growing increasingly vocal in calling for change.
Drawing from more than 200 interviews filmed in 20 countries, “Poverty, Inc.” unearths an uncomfortable side of charity. From TOMs Shoes to international adoptions, from solar panels to U.S. agricultural subsidies, the film challenges Americans to ask if they may be part of the problem.
The panel will feature two Hope professors: Dr. Virginia Beard, associate professor of political science and director of women’s and gender studies, who has expertise in politics and public policy especially in the African context; and Dr. David Phillips, assistant professor of economics, who has expertise in international development and urban poverty.
The event is being hosted by the college’s Markets and Morality student organization and co-sponsored by the Emmaus Scholars Program, Saint Benedict Forum, Campus Ministries, Hope United for Justice, Center for Ministry Studies, Department of Economics and Business, Department of Political Science, Program in International Studies, Union of Catholic Students, Alpha Phi Omega service organization, Phelps Scholars Program, Senior Seminar Program, Engineers Without Borders, Hope College Republicans and Mortar Board.
The Knickerbocker Theatre is located at 86 E. Eighth St.