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A Movie for Midweek: The Constant Gardener

Has anyone seen The Constant Gardener yet?  It's excellent - but I also found it incredibly depressing, hence my suggestion that this is a movie to see during the week, not on the weekend!  Nothing is left out of this movie and it leaves your head spinning as you begin to process every element/issue that was brought in.  Not only is it about the corruption and immorality of rich corporations/pharmaceuticals and their inhumane practices, the movie touches on the Sudan/genocide, gay rights (or lack thereof), the role of the UN, poverty, AIDS, war, contrasts of rich/poor and the list could go on.  It is so rich and stimulating and the cinematography is absolutely beautiful! 

It also made me angry, disheartened, depressed and frustrated.  I'm usually not a fan of movies that leave me feeling like this - I like to leave with a bit of hope that change can happen, that I am an individual that can make a difference.  While you could draw some hope from the ending (I didn't get too much hope from it...), I think what I've taken more from this movie is that I cannot be silenced even when it seems that evil is winning. I would encourage people to go see this movie, but also leave time afterwards or the day after to discuss it with friends because it's a movie that should create wonderful and intense conversation.

The New York Times review summed up the movie well with this quote:

This is a supremely well-executed piece of popular entertainment that is likely to linger in your mind and may even trouble your conscience. Which is only proper, since the theme of the film, as of Mr. le Carré's novel, is the uneasy, divided conscience of the liberal West.

 

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Comments

I saw it on Friday night, and I second your suggestion to see it on a weeknight. In fact, I recommend seeing it with a group and then discussing it afterwards over a beer. The movie brought up a number of questions for me: am I complicit in this injustice by buying prescription medications that come from corrupt pharmaceutical companies? is it always best to try working within the system first? who monitors the work (or lack thereof) of diplomats? what really is their work? It's easy to make generalizations about who the "good guys" and the "bad guys" are after watching this movie, and it's never that simple. But the movie did made me ask a lot of questions that I wouldn't normally think about. And it's a great discussion starter on the topic of globalization.

This isn't a movie. It's a film. And by that I mean it demands to be reckoned with outside of the dark -- and to me, those are the only movies...er, films, worth spending money on. I third the recommendation and Shawnda's suggestions.

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