“The Constant Gardener”

I have just seen a beautiful film, “The Constant Gardener.” (Based on a John LeCarre novel, it is both a thriller and a love story. Rachel Weisz won the Oscar for her role.)
I remember years ago seeing the definitive James Bond farce “Our Man Flint,” and laughing myself silly at the punch-line of the plot. The villain was not a government at all, nor even a phantasm like 007’s SPECTRE, but a private company, The Phone Company. What a laugh that was! What a lark!
In “The Constant Gardener,” the villain is again a private company–a pharmaceutical giant inflicting fraudulent, deadly drug testing on poor people in Kenya, then murderously suppressing the truth about this practice. And now it is not incongruous at all, no longer What a lark! Now, it is Of course! Of course these bastards will stop at nothing in their callousness and greed.
Now, we know better. I didn’t laugh myself silly at this film. That silliness is gone, and I am sadder for it. It is a time of bitter laughter. The loathsome and outrageous have turned commonplace. Cover-up? Mass graves, a private company, government complicity? Of course.



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