Black Gold

An in-depth look at the world of coffee and global trade.

Black Gold
As coffee drinkers know, not all beans are equal, but the meaning of inequality gets an entirely different spin in Marc and Nick Francis' handsome and astute doc, "Black Gold." The Brit brothers study where some of the world's finest beans -- including Harar, from southern Ethiopia -- are grown and how they're marketed, and ask why people producing such a first-class product live in near-starvation conditions. The complicated answers are too great for any single feature doc to encapsulate, but pic's educational value and filmmaking prowess assure it a good fest season followed by a fine vid harvest.

"Black Gold" tells of the fair-trade coffee movement, in which growers arrange to directly receive a higher percentage of sales revenues by cutting out as many middlemen as possible.As rep of the Oromo Coffee Farmers Co-op Union, which embraces 74 southern Ethiopian co-ops and more than 70,000 farmers, Tadesse Meskela travels between the grassroots and the international market buying his groups' prized beans. He's in the ideal position to observe the growers' thin margin of survival and, contrapuntally, third-party brokers repping such coffee giants as Nestle and Kraft -- in tandem with the coffee commodity exchanges in New York and London, where daily prices are set -- working to maintain low prices.

The Francises are aces behind the camera, displaying an elegant sense of composition that makes their subject visually ravishing. Andreas Kapsalis' gorgeous score lends doc a grand quality. (T. Koehler, Variety)

Black Gold

Mon November 13, 2006, 7:00 only, Muenzinger Auditorium

USA, 2006, in English, Color



10 films for $60 with punch card
$9 general admission. $7 w/UCB student ID, $7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Cinema Studies students get in free.


Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.


Park elsewhere and catch the HOP to campus

International Film Series

(Originally called The University Film Commission)
Established 1941 by James Sandoe.

First Person Cinema

(Originally called The Experimental Cinema Group)
Established 1955 by Carla Selby, Gladney Oakley, Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage.

C.U. Film Program

(AKA The Rocky Mountain Film Center)
First offered degrees in filmmaking and critical studies in 1989 under the guidance of Virgil Grillo.

Celebrating Stan

Created by Suranjan Ganguly in 2003.

C.U. Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Established 2017 by Chair Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz.

Thank you, sponsors!
Boulder International Film Festival
Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Looking for a gift for a friend?
Buy a Frequent Patron Punch Card for $60 at any IFS show. With the punch card you can see ten films (a value of $90).

Virtual titles to stream from home

Cox & Kjølseth
: Filmmaker Alex Cox & Pablo Kjølseth discuss film topics from their own unique perspectives.

: Pablo and Ana share Zoom-based briefs on what's currently playing at IFS

Sprocket Damage
: Sprocket Damage digs deep(ish) into current and classic films and film-related subjects to bring to you insightful, humorous, and enlightening perspectives on the industry.

Search IFS schedules

Index of visiting artists

Thu Apr 27, 2023


At Muenzinger Auditorium

Sat Apr 29, 2023

The Illusionist

At Muenzinger Auditorium

more on 35mm...