Click our logo for the Sierra Club homepage.
Printer-friendly version Share:  Share this page on FacebookShare this page on TwitterShare this page by emailShare this page with other services

Responsible Trade Program:
Trade Films

Host a Fair Trade Movie Screening
The films are separated into three categories below: films that are available online, films that the Sierra Club has in-house and will loan out for free (with a deposit), and films that are available for purchase or rent. The prices listed are from the producer's or the film's distribution website. It is also noted whether the film is available on or, both of which often have cheaper prices.

Download our free Guide to Hosting A Fair Trade Film Screening Party

Available Online (Free)

A Cry for Freedom and Democracy
In Chiapas, Mexico in 1994 indigenous Mayans began an uprising against their forcibly low standards of living and wages. Such indigenous movements are still evident in Latin American countries and are usually the response to the harsh effects of globalization on workers and the environment.
28 minutes, NR
Dir: Cheche Martinez

Grains of Change: the People's Voice
Anthropology student Carolyn Barnwell travels through northern Thailand and captures families' advantageous decisions to practice organic and fair trade farming. She compares the fair trade farming to previous systems showing that environmental progress does not hinder personal economic sustainability.
15 minutes, NR
Dir: Carolyn Barnwell

No Logo
The short film based on the Naomi Klein book of the same title about logos and the increasing social pressure to align ourselves with corporations.
7 minutes, NR
Dir: Jason Diceman

Redwood Summer and Beyond
This movie explores world wide attempts to fight timber industries and reforest the earth. These forest activists often face harassment or even death threats from timber companies.
58 minutes, NR
Dir: Luana Plunkett and Neal Morrison

Siempre Trabajando: Latinos and Labor
Latinos of the Service Employees union in Los Angeles in 1990 were met with police brutality when peacefully protesting for better wages. This movie explores working conditions of immigrants and the opposition labor unions face.
58 minutes, NR

Story of Stuff
This interactive video by Annie Leonard follows the life cycle of everyday items, from extraction and production to distribution, consumption and disposal, to help us understand the journey our commodities take and what social and environmental impact they leave.
20 minutes, NR
Dir: Annie Leonard

The Debt Game
The current global system works in such a way that developing nations become indebted to developed nations and stay that way. This movie analyzes the debt situation in Latin America from the view point of Latin Americans.
28 minutes, NR
Dir: Eduardo Coutinho

Available on Loan from the Sierra Club (Free)
Please contact us for information.

American Jobs
When corporations send jobs overseas where there is cheaper labor and less strict regulations, American workers are obviously hurt. This documentary travels across the U.S. stopping at factories where workers are laid off and businesses that can no longer compete.
62 minutes, NR
Dir: Greg Spotts
DVD price: $14.95

Banking on Life & Debt (VHS)
Over 90% of the earth's population lives in countries trapped in multibillion-dollar loan repayment schemes, with terms dictated by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Millions of children are sacrificed for the sake of financial stability. 31 minutes
VHS price: $14.95

Children of the Amazon
Denise Zmekhol uses a biographical approach to understand the impact of deforestation and globalization on Amazonian tribes by tracing a fifteen year time span of Surui and Negarote children.
72 minutes, NR
Dir: Denise Zmekhol
DVD price: $23.00

This video brings forth the covert issue of electronic waste and its adverse and unhealthful impacts in poor communities in China, India and Nigeria. This was a graduate project by Michael Zhao of UC Berkeley.
20 minutes, NR
Dir: Michael Zhao

Hutanku Meratap: The Forest Lament
The poem (originally in Indonesian) by Rizaldi Siagian (musical) and A. Slamet Widodo (teks) and dedicated to Earth Day 2008.
Also available online

Libby, Montana
Nestled below the rugged peaks of the Northern Rockies in Montana—as iconic a representation of America's "purple mountain majesties" as one can find—lies the worst case of community-wide exposure to a toxic substance in U.S. history. In the small town of Libby, many hundreds of people are sick or have already died from asbestos exposure. This long working day's journey into a blue-collar community finds a different reality—one where the American Dream exacts a terrible price.
86 minutes
Dir: Drury Gunn Carr and Doug Hawes-Davis
DVD price: $19.95

Maquila: A Tale of Two Mexicos (VHS)
This film shows graphic scenes of confrontation between the Mayan people and the Mexican army, which occupies part of Chiapas. Some of these besieged peasants and millions of other poor farmers have been forced off the land and have migrated to northern border cities where they work in Maquilas. Others cling tenuously to their land using pre-modern agricultural modes in the age of industrial globalization and unrestrained free trade.
55 minutes
Dir: Saul Landau & Sonia Angulo

Maquilapolis: City of Factories
This film documents to heroic efforts of women factory workers in Tijuana to fight for their basic rights as workers and people and to end their mistreatment at the hands of foreign corporations.
68 minutes, NR
Dir: Vicky Funare and Sergio de la Torre
DVD price: $26.95

>Mardi Gras Made in China
This movie takes a different approach to globalization and follows the life cycle of Mardi Gras beads from their production in China to their consumption in New Orleans to showcase the contrasts from the harsh lives of workers at the bottom to American consumer culture.
74 minutes, NR
Dir: David Redmon
DVD price: $17.99

Wild Versus Wall
The Border Campaign of the Sierra Club – Grand Canyon Chapter has completed a 20 minute video about the environmental effects of the current border policy, "Wild Versus Wall." This video covers the ecological effects of enforcement and infrastructure in the four states that share boundaries with Mexico.
20 minutes
Dir: Steev Hise
DVD price: $20.00, short version available online

Available for Purchase or Rent

All in This Tea
Tea expert David Lee Hoffman travels to China and explains how globalization is causing traditional tea growers and makers to abandon their professions in turn for corporate tea production. He compares the quality of traditional tea to the inferior corporate-made tea.
70 minutes, NR
Dir: Les Blank and Gina Leibrecht
DVD price: $29.95; Netflix;

Another World is Possible
In 2002, over 11,000 people gathered in Porto Alegre Brazil for the World Social Forum in response to the elite gathering in New York called the World Economic Forum. This momentous event gained a lot of media attention and was nicknamed Another World is Possible.
24 minutes, NR
Dir: Mike Dworkin and Melissa Young
DVD price: $45.00

Banana Split
This film investigates the journey bananas take from the plantations in Honduras to the markets in Ontario and all the people involved along the way.
Dir: Kelly Saxberg and Ron Harpelle
DVD price: $59.00

Battle in Seattle
The protests of the 1999 WTO meeting in Seattle have not been forgotten. This dramatization captures the turmoil between protesters, police, corporations and all others caught in the middle. It is still in select theaters, and features a Hollywood cast with an indie message.
99 minutes, R
Dir: Stuart Townsend
DVD price: $14.98; Netflix;

Birdsong and Coffee: A Wake Up Call
In the coffee-growing regions of Costa Rica, coffee growers, coffee drinkers, and bird lovers are all connected. This film advocates for the responsibility of the consumer to the growers.
56 minutes, NR
Dir: Anne Macksound and John Ankele
DVD price: $250.00 (discount available)

Black Gold
Tadesse Meskela, an Ethiopian farmer, spends his life working hard on coffee plantations for barely a living wage. This film exposes his life, the life of 70,000 other Ethiopian coffee farmers he represents, and the globalization model that perpetuates their plight.
77 minutes, NR
Dir: Marc and Nick Francis
DVD price: $26.95; Netflix;

Breaking the Bank
An independent film capturing the April of 2000 IMF and World Bank protests in DC complete with interviews from Michael Moore, Susan Sarandon and Dr. Vandana Shiva.
74 minutes, NR
DVD price: $15.00 or $25.00 donation

Buyer Be Fair: the Promise of Product Certification
This film proposes fair trade as the answer to the turmoil caused by globalization and WTO decisions. It follows the production, transportation and consumption of timber and coffee from Oaxaca.
60 minutes, NR
Dir: John De Graaf
DVD price: $29.95

Commanding Heights: the Battle for the World Economy
This is a three-part documentary about the history of world economic structure starting from post WWI until the globalization debate of today. It looks at how powerful countries have used their economic prowess to dominate over weaker countries. Includes interviews with political figures such as Bill Clinton.
360 minutes
Dir: William Cram and Greg Barker
DVD or VHS price: $33.96; Netflix;

Global Village or Global Pillage?
This movie shows what constructive action people around the world are taking against the negative affects of globalization with grassroots organizing, protests and even concerts.
27 minutes, NR
Dir: Jeremy Brecher
DVD price: $21.95;

It's a Riot
In 1987, the Venezuelan government released austerity measures to make the nation more eligible for IMF loans. This short film captures the Venezuelan uprising that followed.
28 minutes, NR
Dir: Maria Elgenia Martinez, Liliane Laser
DVD price: $20.00

Life and Debt
Jamaica, Haiti and Ghana are just three countries presented in this movie which have fallen in debt to the IMF after accepting IMF loans. This film presents the inequities our current system of globalization causes to developing countries and how the "help" institutions like the IMF offer are not always helpful.
86 minutes, NR
Dir: Stephanie Black
DVD price: $24.27; Netflix;

Not for Sale
An informative piece about how patents and intellectual property rights assign ownership to machines, plants, and ideas thus disrupting normal ways of life in places like Peru and India where money must be paid and production methods must be changed to have access to these previously free items.
31 minutes, NR
Dir: Mark Dworkin and Melissa Young
DVD price: $45.00 rent, $195 buy

Showdown in Seattle
A collaboration of different filmmakers or amateur videographers who captured the moments of the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle. Divided into five segments from Environment, to Development to Labor and Human Rights, this collection takes a non-corporate view of this event.
Five part series of 30 minute segments
VHS price: $25.00 or $50.00 donation;

Stolen Childhoods
This documentary captures the daily work of child laborers across the world in mines, queries, plantations and sweatshops. These are the effects of corporations "racing to the bottom" for cheap labor, and these are the children who are effected.
75 minutes, NR
Dir: Len Morriss
DVD price: $45.00; Netflix

Surplus: Terrorized Into Being Consumers
President Bush's infamous "shopping speech" urged the American people to continue shopping even if they are afraid of terrorism. This movie instead explores how people in our modern world have been pressured into being consumers, and how our freedom to choose between products is just a superficial freedom whereas the definition of a good citizen should be more than just a big spender.
52 minutes, NR
Dir: Eric Gandini
DVD price: 29.00 Euros;

The Coffee Crisis
When the price of coffee drops, we usually don't think about the coffee farmers who face slimmer wages, and as consumers, we rarely notice when the price of coffee beans drop because the difference is absorbs by corporations anyway. In this short film, the effects of lower prices Guatemalan farmers are explored.
22 minutes, NR
Dir: Santiago Bertolino
DVD price: $20.00

The Emporer's New Clothes
This movie follows the transition of jobs and worker life in Mexico, Canada and the United States before and after NAFTA. A Canadian delegation of workers visit Mexico to see where some of their jobs have gone and find themselves in impoverished communities of shacks and few worker rights.
52 minutes, NR
Dir: Magnus Isacson
DVD price: $75.00

The Insider
This is the true story of another example of corporate control over free information. Jeffery Wigand, a former tobacco company exec who opted to interview on ""60 Minutes" and come out with secrets of the tobacco industry which are met with contention from former co-workers of Wigand. Starring Al Pacino and Russell Crowe.
158 minutes, R
Dir: Michael Mann
DVD price: $9.99; Netflix;

The Take
The Forja auto plant turned silent as workers got up, mobilized, and sat down again inside the Buenos Aires factory after refusing to work under such poor conditions. This movie pays homage to this tale of workers fighting for their dignity.
87 minutes, NR
Dir: Avi Lewis
DVD price: $25.00; Netflix;

The Yes Men
Andy and Mike, two pranksters parody the WTO website but are delightfully surprised to find just enough people taking them seriously to be invited to speak for the WTO and business functions. Their cunning sarcasm and satire during such presentations are taken for face value again, showing an unanticipated darker side of corporate behavior.
82 minutes, R
Dir: Mike Bannano and Andy Bichlbaum
DVD price: $12.99; Netflix;

Water is bought, sold, and traded in both the developed and developing world. This movie examines this phenomenon and the inequality of clean water distribution in the United States, India and Bolivia. The corporate ownership of water and the power it gives is revealed through footage of the World Water Forum in Kyoto.
62 minutes, NR
Dir: Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman
DVD price: $29.95

This documentary takes real interviews and real stories of the 1999 Seattle WTO protests and displays them in a mix of street footage and political speeches for an in-depth look at the momentous occasion.
95 minutes, NR
Dir: Shaya Mercer
DVD price: $35.00

Sierra Club® and "Explore, enjoy and protect the planet"® are registered trademarks of the Sierra Club. © 2014 Sierra Club.
The Sierra Club Seal is a registered copyright, service mark, and trademark of the Sierra Club.