Blood in the Mobile

I finally got around to watching this the other day and I’d say I was slightly disappointed by it. Apart raising the issue and highlighting it to the embarrassment of Nokia, Polson, the filmmaker really gets nowhere and seems to lack the charisma if not the determination to get answers.

I don’t doubt the risks he took, but the risks of the boy whoo took him down the mines and the reaction to him there from the fellow miners

Polson then at the end seems rather disingenuous with Nokia, asking the head of social responsibility that he made promises to the boys in Congo and what can he tell the now. Well if he did makes those promises, he certainly didn’t on camera. And what is Polson’s responsibility to these boys? They are treated terribly and lead desperate, fear-ridden lives but what happens to them next? These minerals are mined to demand. Cutting the supply means losing demand and hence jobs. What is better?

The section in Germany with the geologists came across as frankly silly and its inadequacy was immediately pointed pout by Global Witness. The part with the Congressman was under explored. The part with the UN spokesman really could have been built on. I was slightly suspicious of it. It seemed loaded.

Polson seems to have lived in a Danish wonderland, unknowing of the big, bad world out there. To a certain degree I think it was an act. People live terrible lives, exploitation is rife, corruption is not unusual but an everyday function of survival for all. You do what you have to do.

It’s the people at the bottom who lose out but the solution here might not be to expose the workers so openly and to essentially demand their dismissal. The whole structure is at work here. The consumerist nature of the West, the exploitative and short-termist multinationals, the tied development, the race to the bottom (in this case literally) economic system. Its the same structure that is creaking right now. We need to help push it over.

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