1 Jan 2009 - 12:00 AM  UPDATED 24 Jul 2020 - 9:48 AM
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Acclaimed Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles City of God and international best seller John Le Carre come together to focus the spotlight on the dubious practices in Africa of the pharmaceutical industry in The Constant Gardener.

Justin Quayle (Ralph Fiennes) - a British diplomat and his wife Tess (Rachel Weisz) - a passionate political activist, are posted in Kenya. She discovers that a new drug is being tested on unwitting impoverished Kenyans. When she goes off to investigate with friend and local doctor Joshua Ngaba (John Sibi- Okumu), Tess is found murdered and he has disappeared making it look like a crime of passion. Sandy Woodrow (Danny Huston), friend and member of the high commission, urges Justin to let them take care of the matter. Not content to leave things alone, he embarks on a journey of discovery about himself and the wife he thought he knew.

Director Fernando Meirelles brings his docu-drama style to bear on this socially conscious political story, being careful not to let it become a soapbox. The performances between Fiennes and Weisz feel real and honest, allowing us to believe that these two polar opposites ignite when they connect. Well crafted and sufficiently disturbing, Meirelles blends scenes of beauty and ugliness to give us a balanced vision of life in contemporary Africa. The film's ever increasing pace, hand-held camera work and bleached out colors blend superbly together to enhance the authenticity of this thriller. Like Hotel Rwanda, The Constant Gardener unearths unpleasant realities, which may require us to think outside of our comfort zone.

 

Watch 'The Constant Gardener'

Monday 27 July, 7:30pm on SBS World Movies
Tuesday 28 July, 11:45pm on SBS World Movies

M
USA, 2005
Genre: Drama, Romance, Thriller
Language: English
Director: Fernando Meirelles
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, Archie Panjabi, Bill Nighy
What's it about?
A widower is determined to get to the bottom of a potentially explosive secret involving his wife's murder, big business, and corporate corruption. This adaptation of a novel by John Le Carre (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, A Most Wanted Man) from City of God director Fernando Meirelles won Rachel Weisz the 2006 Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

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