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Blood in the Mobile: Mining in the Congo

2011
Distributed by Filmakers Library, 124 East 40th Street, New York, NY 10016; 202-808-4980
Produced by Ole Tornbjerg
Directed by Frank Piasecki Poulsen
DVD, color, 53 min.(82 min. is listed on the container)
College
African Studies, Business, Ethics, Human Rights


Reviewed by Jessica Schomberg, Minnesota State University, Mankato

Recommended   
 
Date Entered: 8/8/2011

Filmmaker and long-time Nokia user Poulsen investigates reports that the minerals used to make his mobile (cell) phone come from eastern Congo and have been financing the war there. When he tries to contact a representative from Nokia to ask about the issue, he struggles to find someone who will speak with him. When he arrives in the Congo, he’s threatened with arrest for filming in public and the miners he interviews are at risk of being killed. Everyone involved, from the cell phone manufacturers to politicians to militants seems to be involved in the sale of conflict minerals.

Watching Poulsen’s investigation was like reading Kafka’s The Trial. The frustration, anxiety, fear and sense of alienation were palpable. This documentary asks a lot of very good questions on a topic that will be of interest to many disciplines.

Narration is in English, dialog is primarily in English with white English subtitles. Filming follows Poulsen from Western Europe to the Congo.

Recommended for libraries collecting in the areas of African studies, ethics, globalization, human rights and supply chain management.