The direction of Lesley Chilcott and the voice of Alanis Morissette for A Small Section of the World.
The documentary produced by illycaffè to tell the story of the passion and tenacity of the women of coffee.
The women of a remote corner of the planet who uplift the future of their village through cultivation and education, creating economic growth for the entire community, for both current and future generations.
Trieste, December 11, 2014 – Where does the coffee we drink come from and how many hands does it take to grow it? How many of these hands belong to women? From these two simple questions, “A Small Section of the World” began, the documentary produced by illycaffè, which tells a multi-generational story of entirely female passion and tenacity. It’s an emotional voyage into the discovery of how a cup of coffee has changed the lives of many women and has allowed them to rise to their potential.
A Small Section of the World, available from December 16th worldwide on iTunes, has fascinated and won over great names of the international cinematography and music scene: Lesley Chilcott, producer of Waiting for Superman (2010) and winner of the Oscar for her co-production of An Inconvenient Truth (2006), is in fact the director of this gripping story, sung by the voice of Alanis Morissette, one of the most honoured rock artists of all time, author of the soundtrack to The Morning, written together with Costa Rican composer and Grammy Award winner Carlos “Tapado” Vargas.
About 125 million people in the world depend on the exportation of coffee, and many of them are farmers that live and work in sub-standard conditions, receiving only a small percentage of the actual retail sales price of coffee. Of these 125 million, the majority are women who must confront numerous challenges daily, just like the protagonists depicted in A Small Section of the World*.
The documentary focuses on the women of ASOMOBI (Asociacion de Mujeres Organizadas de Biolley), the association of women coffee producers that live in Cordillera de Talamanca in Costa Rica. Their story unfolds over the course of 17 years, and the documentary illustrates how women are a fundamental part of coffee culture, in every single process, from start to finish.
Following an economic crisis that devastated the region, the men of the village were forced to leave their families in search of work in the cities. The women, left alone, joined forces, driven by the desire for a different future for themselves, their families and their community, and built their first coffee mill, leading the way to become a model of sustainable, quality coffee cultivation. Thanks to the women of Asomobi’s tenacity, today their children reap the fruit of this labour and have the possibility to study at colleges and universities not too far from the village, and bring new tools for both cultivation and business development back to the village itself.
The work and ideas of the women of Asomobi have unleashed a real revolution in the world of coffee cultivation: a revolution supported by illycaffè through the Ernesto Illy Foundation, which always strives to sustain the role of women in the world of coffee.
“We want to be an impulse to the silent revolution of the women of coffee by the sharing of experiences and the diffusion of ideas looking towards improving relationships with producers, sustainable models and the quality of the product”, comments Daria Illy, Business Development Director for illycaffè and narrator of the documentary. “Sustainability means also sustaining the women that work in the coffee supply chain and promoting their access to training and better work opportunities”.
A Small Section of the World is contributing in a tangible way to the education process for the women of coffee: in fact, the proceeds obtained from iTunes downloads of the soundtrack to The Morning, sung by Alanis Morissette, will be donated by the Ernesto Illy Foundation in support of the education of the women around the world so that they can earn a “Master in Coffee and Economic Sciences”.
The protagonists of the documentary are an example of how women can grow through economic development and how all end-consumers can be in direct contact with the realities that exist behind the food that arrives on our tables every day. Precisely for this reason, A Small Section of the World has obtained patronage from WE-Women for Expo, the project of the Expo that discusses nourishment and does so by putting feminine culture front and centre: “For the first time, Expo Milan 2015 proposes a project dedicated to women: WE- Women for Expo is a worldwide network of women working together on nutrition-related issues. It seemed natural and appropriate to us to offer our support to this interesting project with WE’s patronage, sure of the great collaboration opportunities that can come for this new alliance”.
*data from ICO- International Coffee Alliance – http://www.ico.org/