Film Review: The Constant Gardener

I went to see this film today so I could get away for a while from the tragic images coming out of the hurricane-ridden Gulf Coast. If there was one thing that I got out of the film, it is the fact that poor people are not given any respect in this society, whether in Kenya or New Orleans. The film revolves around mid-level British diplomat Justin Quayle (Ralph Fiennes) and his leftist activist wife Tessa (Rachel Weisz). Tessa and his African doctor companion are killed in the beginning of the film, which was initially believed by road bandits. But as the film progresses it is learned that Tessa was murdered because she found out that pharmaceutical companies, with the help of British government cronies, are testing dangerous drugs on unsuspecting Africans. Unfortunately this is a very real problem as corporations use the developing world as guinea pigs. In many cases pharmaceutical company will deny people important drugs to treat other diseases, such as AIDS, if they don’t comply with taking these shady tests. Because the vast majority of Africans live below the poverty line, many corporations think it is okay to take advantage of this. The film also delves into briefly into the rights and wrongs of the Iraq War and the homosexuality of the African doctor (which would interestingly be a great subject for a whole other film). While I thought the love story in the film was a bit sappy, I give the film high marks because I do feel it is important for people to know about the social ills going on around them. Maybe as a result of viewing the film a few more people might want to get involved with Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Oxfam or some other like-minded organization to learn about the issues. After the success of Hotel Rwanda and potentially this film, maybe Hollywood is starting to realize that there are some people in the world that want to view films that have socially redeeming value. You will definitely leave this film more informed about the real world, if not entertained.


At Sunday, September 04, 2005 8:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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