BBC Storyville Brings Eight Documentaries About Poverty To The Global Stage For Far-Reaching Discussion

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure Bono is magical.

Musician, singer, activist, humanitarian, subject of my best friend’s unfaltering crush since 1991 – WHAT KIND OF WITCH ARE YOU, SIR?!

Bono and his ever-present sunglasses of coolness are making yet another significant appearance in the realm of social issues: a film featuring Bono and Bob Geldof’s 30-year campaign to eradicate poverty will be one of eight poverty-themed documentaries screened in November thanks to the efforts of BBC Storyville and over 70 broadcasters worldwide.

The Why Poverty? project—produced with the help of The Open University—will screen the same eight films in 180 countries, with the aim of opening up a global conversation about the existence (and persistence) of poverty in the 21st century. BBC Four plans to air seven of the documentaries over two weeks, screening one of the films (Four Born Every Second) on BBC One. Nick Fraser, Commissioning Editor of Storyville, said that “Why Poverty? aims to create a global conversation about poverty and I’m very proud that Storyville, working with broadcasters from around the world, has been able to find and commission such a wide range of thought-provoking and deeply engaging films about a subject that concerns the whole world.”

The eight films being screened include:

Solar Mamas: Rafea, a mother of four in Jordan, overcomes the odds (and her controlling husband) to study solar engineering for her village’s benefit at India’s Barefoot University, along with 27 other women from around the world.

Four Born Every Second: Traveling to Cambodia, Sierra Leone, the U.S. and the UK, Brian Hill explores the issue of infant mortality, and how the circumstances (and location) of birth affects the length and quality of life.

Land Rush: What happens when businesses snatch up large swaths of land in developing countries, leaving local farmers scrambling for arable land? Land Rush focuses on a group of investors and developers seeking a better model of development in Mali, and how their practices might affect the locals around them.

Stealing Africa: Filmmaker Christopher Gilbrandsen travels to Zambia to investigate why a country that’s one of the most mineral-rich in Africa is also one of the continent’s poorest.

Poor Us – An Animated History of Poverty: Ben Lewis’s film looks at our attitudes towards poverty throughout history, beginning in the Neolithic Age.

Education! Education! Can education provide an escape from poverty? As the privatization of the Chinese education system sees two million college graduates languish in unemployment each year, the question of whether education truly trumps poverty looms large.

Give Us the Money: Bob Geldof and Bono have fought against poverty for 30 years, and director Bosse Lindquist explores how their efforts have impacted Africa.

Park Avenue: Money, Power and The American Dream: Alex Gibney’s tale of two Park Avenues—one in Manhattan and one in the South Bronx—compares and contrasts the lives of the geographically adjacent haves and have-nots.

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