A portrait of the hidden humanity that exists in every stage of growing and harvesting coffee.
Filmed in the Matagalpa region of Nicaragua in 2017.
Every day we take for granted the little luxuries that our global economy offers us.
We drink our coffee. We start our day. All the while, hidden from our view is the enormity of human effort, labor, and heart that has gone in to providing us that luxury.
This separation from the labors and efforts of people just like us, prevents us from thinking about the choices we make as consumers.
It prevents us from thinking critically about the important ways our choices affect other people around the planet.
As a result it is often impossible to honor and respect the people who work every day to make those luxuries available to us.
In our short documentary: "The Hands We Cannot See" we are trying to lift the curtain, even if just for a few minutes.
Our goal is try and make visible the labor and work that goes into a simple but essential commodity.
In November of 2017, we traveled to Nicaragua.
We followed coffee through every stage of production. Our mission was simple: be a witness to the humanity that is a part of this process.
We wanted to bring that humanity to our audience through cinema's ability to connect us directly to the emotional lives of the people on screen.
Our focus became the little human details that go into every step of the process.
While we set out to make a film about labor and coffee, a few months after filming we were horrified to witness Nicaragua descend into its current political crisis.
Looking back now on the film it is hard not to see a picture of calm before the coming storm, a portrait of the moments of peace in a country that now must fight to reclaim rule of law.
Creative Agency: Animal Garden
Directed by Travis Lee Ratcliff
Executive Producer: Brad Fassbender
Produced by Travis Lee Ratcliff & Brad Fassbender
Associate Producer: Andrew Natali
Cinematography John Carmichel IV
Editing & Sound Design: Travis Lee Ratcliff
Music by Sean Muldrow
Colorist: John Carmichael IV
1st AC, Gaffer: Emily Brown
Special thanks to: Rolyn, Emily, & Lorena Garcia, Andrew Natali, Brad Fassbender, Taresa Fassbender, Paul Rush, Bing De La Cruz-Rush, Brody Carmichael, Kathryn Bailey, Michael Benoit, Tom Pinterf, Father Issa and The Franciscan Friars of the Renewal of Matagalpa, Our Generous Subjects: Blanca, Helena, Nieve Diaz, Jugo Diaz, Francisco, Maria and Carlos Perez, Lucio, Felicito Mendoza, And everyone at the Managua airport for returning our equipment (after a very uncomfortable 36 hours).
Filmed on the Varicam LT with Angenieux zooms
Press kit available at: travis-lee-ratcliff.com/thehandswecannotseepress
Made possible by Guadalupe Roastery (guadaluperoastery.com)
Filmed on Location in Matagalpa, Nicaragua
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