Friday, July 07, 2006

I Am A Darfur Activist

So I am obviously biased in this brief review of The Constant Gardener.

The film opened with an in camera exposure trick forgotten by most cinematographers. That theme of oblivion fading to knowledge fading to moving on carried through the cinematography of the entire film, heading directly down the plot path of Justin Quayle. All the elements of this film worked together - rare in cinema today - to make the movie powerful. The soundtrack was perfect at all the right parts, the plot was believable, lines weren't cheesy, acting was acceptable, cinematography was refreshing, and the point was good, but perhaps too blunt.

This film justly implicates everybody in the changing world for the plight of the forgotten continent, but the final speech from the pulpit is too blunt for me. However, in a world that re-fucks the most fucked land every day, this is more necessary than I would like to admit, but that is my activist bias coming through. From a purely cinematic standpoint the film forced the point too much in the last third. Like I Am Curious - Blue, Constant Gardener leaves too many questions answered. However, at the end I felt a longing to do something, to find out more about drug companies foreign policies, to be a journalist and expose.

In short, this film provides a much needed break from the usual mindless dramas coming out today. Like Jarmuch's Broken Flowers, this film takes a new look at old tactics and isn't so much original as it is refreshing. The point is also one that needs to be made unmistakably, but perhaps this film did it a bit clumsily.


Collin said...

I thought this was a powerful film. Deeply moving and thought-provoking. Since I contribute regularly to charities, I've earmarked money for Darfur numerous times. I've also blogged about it and written about it. I'm glad to see you keep the crisis front and center at your blog. It's a good reminder.

Anonymous the Younger said...

It's frustrating here in Moscow where both Moscow and Pullman empty over the summer and interest in international affairs dies. My group has been forced to suspend all activities untill some key members return from summer break. However, the violence has not slaked and is even now escalating again. I feel useless, utterly destroyed. Thank you so much for donating.