The Constant Gardner

January 15, 2013


Hollywood has a fetish for vilifying capitalism. Albeit an adaptation, The Constant Gardner nevertheless relishes the obtuse phantasmagoria world of profit as shame.


Paralleling conspiracy theorists which interject the notion that pharmaceutical companies have incentive to disease people to sustain their profits versus heal, as if their research and development infrastructure is incapable of shifting its direction toward different profitable ends than improving health, the crudest most repugnant revulsion of capitalism intersects at the juncture of “human aid”.


Naturally, there is corruption between the powers that be which “exploit” the population for profitable venture; as if the measly cost of proper clinical trials does not outweigh the irreparable harm and indeed felonious actions of human rights abuse portrayed; the calculus for a greedy, selfish and evil capitalist is a no-brainer. Also naturally, amidst this absurd fantasy generated by unscientific minds, we have an impassioned heroine, who in fact does nothing beneficial to the cause of human health; do we see her, for instance, vesting her time in the research of successful drug modalities for HIV? No. Instead, having sickly children acknowledge her narcissistic presence as she skirts by them with a smile, fulfilling her obligations to humanity. Tessa is no Jonas Salk.


Balancing this preposterousness, if at all possible, is the non-overt measure of “soft imperialism”, which we fortunately are not spoon-fed any further. If the film witnessed the corrupt infrastructure of the human aid itself, as a bureaucratic claptrap that has not provided any benefit to the African people despite decades and billions of dollars in investment, a new wrinkle may have emerged: that is, spontaneous ordering of society is better than anything planned by a white person. But no, we have instead a quixotic crusade that acts as a catharsis to voyeurs who cannot comprehend economics and who also support the bureaucratic meddling that distorts African society which causes their shameful emotions in a psychological spiral of madness.


The top shelf production and direction salvages a picayune story, only suspenseful to the already indoctrinated.


Grade: C-



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