The Constant Gardener

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 “I can tell you this, as my journey through the pharmaceutical jungle progressed, I came to realize that, by comparison with the reality, my story was as tame as a holiday postcard”

John le Carré

I’m really sorry, John le Carré, but this is one of the few occasions, when I have liked the film better than the book!

The film, based on the John le Carré novel with the same name, follows Justin Quayle (Ralph Fiennes) a British diplomat in Kenya, as he tries to solve the murder of his wife, Tessa (Rachel Weisz). The movie is a progress back into her life, and a journey of discovery for Justin, who discovers a woman he never really knew. Its set in Northern Kenya where the impoverished citizens are treated like guinea pigs and exploited by their own government, foreign businessmen, and greedy drug companies. Kenyans are promised treatment for AIDS on the condition they take a tuberculosis vaccine that’s just in clinical testing stages. When some of the test subjects have a fatal reaction to the drug, their deaths are covered up in a conspiracy involving the British High Commission, pharmaceutical companies ,and corrupt African officials. The story is fragmented, told in flashbacks, passages of dialogue, scenes that are interrupted and completed later. It’s not a logical exercise beginning with mystery and ending at truth, but a circling around an elusive conspiracy.

John le Carre said he wanted to ask the question: what happens when the ruthlessness of unqualified capitalism backed by military takes over after the fall of communism and defeat of socialist movements. Where do you turn? The film asks the same questions.

The movie was made in 2005 by Fernando Meirelles. Rachel Weisz got an Oscar as best supporting actress for her part.

 

The Constant Gardener Trailer:

 

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