Blood in the Mobile dir. Frank Poulsen (Denmark, Germany)
Another place I’m glad I don’t live is the Democratic Republic of Congo. Blood in the Mobile, by director Frank Poulsen, takes us down into the militia-controlled Congolese mines from which cassiterite, the mineral found in all cellphones, is extracted. Yes, our cell phone purchases are financing civil war in the Congo, and made possible by miners, often adolescent boys or even children, who live and work in horrific conditions and under threat of death, not just by collapsed tunnels but by politically-motivated massacre. Paulsen takes his findings to Nokia but they aren’t too bothered, even though, frighteningly, they are industry leaders in ethical business practices. The film got a standing ovation; I sat through it, by then so used to being seated I’d lost the ability to imagine an alternative, but I did become a fan of the movie’s Facebook page when I got home.