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by Bailey Lewis Van, 10th Grade Tarkovsky Award runner up 2012
Fernando Meirelles’s The Constant Gardener is a political thriller starring Ralph Fiennes as a low ranking politician, Justin Quayle, searching for answers in the wake of the his wife’s murder. While searching, Justin discovers a pharmaceutical company testing potentially deadly AIDS treatments on impoverished Africans, leading him to conclude that the society his life is built around, and that he strongly believes in, is corrupt and that his wife was a casualty in the fight for the rights of the African people.
The Constant Gardener, unlike many films, has a non-linear timeline. This, at first, is very disorienting as there is no clear distinctions in the timeline: first they are together in Africa, then there is an explosion, then the two characters are just meeting and in the next shot she is pregnant. Although the cutting back in forth from past to present to future takes effort to follow and begins to break apart all that you have ever thought about time, it allows the viewer to collect details and make connections that Justin Quayle could not make, while seeing things in their original order. This technique adds a layer of depth and increases tension as Justin stumbles into something that we are just beginning to realize is dangerous.
3 notes (via afwriting)