In 2005, Fernando Meirelles directed The Constant Gardener, which was based off of a John le Carré novel. The film is about the exploitation of drug companies. The powerful and rich pharmaceuticals use Africans as their guinea pigs to lower costs of paying for the testing of drugs. The film follows the lives of Justin Quayle and his wife Tessa Quayle along their path to uncovering the truth behind the inhumane acts. Justin is a low level British diplomat assigned to Kenya and his wife Tessa is a human rights activist. In Tessa’s quest to uncover the truth, she is killed and Justin continues her search in suspicion that someone was behind her murder. Justin later realizes that people in positions of power were behind his wife’s murder, along with the drug testing in Kenya. As he discovers the truth, he recognizes that there is an assassin after him and contemplates his life and whether he had made the correct decisions.
Constant Gardener exposes the illicit and inhumane practices performed by corporate greed and political immorality towards those who are less fortunate and unprotected.
The message of the film tries to break the stereotype created by media that we live in a society of perfect lifestyles and moral humans. Media represents the heroes and “perfect” people as the majority in society. Constant Gardener brings to life the cruel realities that exist around the world.
The film also uncovers the extent to which Governments will go to keep their cruelties a secret. A big criticism of the movie is the influence and detriment that the Western nations, along with their governments, have on third world countries.
Constant Gardener is more than just a drama, it is a call to action to try and stop the cruelties big corporations are responsible for.