Film review: After the Harvest

Kamloops Global Film Festival lays foundation for discussion on taking global action

TRU students attended the second annual Global Film Festival at TRU’s Alumni Theatre Feb. 6 to 8. The festival showed 16 different films exploring various global issues ranging from social oppression to environmental concerns. For more information on the films screened at the festival, visit

Tayla Scott, Contributor Ω

Image courtesy b4apres media

Image courtesy b4apres media

Some drink it by the mug, some drink it by the pot. Coffee often travels from Nicaragua, Guatemala or Mexico to reach our stores.

After the Harvest: Fighting Hunger in the Coffeelands explores the lives of coffee farmers and their families through the “thin months” after the annual harvests when money is scarce. Coffee beans are harvested in April and for small-scale farmers, the suffering that follows can last from two to eight months.

The documentary exposes the starvation that many coffee farmers face. According to the film, one in seven humans are starving in the world and two thirds of coffee farmer’s families go hungry for five to eight months of the year.

The end of the 22-minute film explains the ways the non-profit organizations, like Save the Children and Heifer International, have helped change the lives of many coffee farmers and their families. These organizations focus on teaching the farmers how to grow grain, corn and vegetables to sustain themselves during the thin months.

Heifer International introduced small honey hives to some farmers and donated pigs. The only condition was that the farmers had to share their new knowledge about livestock with other families and give away some of the piglets.

The film also shares the positive influences the coffee trade has for the coffee farmers. It’s clear that help is still needed to bring down the starvation rate during the slow months. Documentaries like these show the unfortunate circumstances people around the world face and help start conversations on how to help them.

The film would have been more useful if it had described what a coffee drinker in Canada can do. The film’s website provides additional information and is available at