The Constant Gardener

Rating: A+

We had the opportunity to see The Constant Gardener (metacritic) a couple of weeks ago, and I neglected to post about it.

I’ve never read a John le Carre novel — I remember him saying on Fresh Air that he was a former British intelligence officer, so I naturally assumed that his politics were more aligned with Tom Clancy’s, than Amnesty International. Now, I’m the kind of Liberal who squirms around radical activist-types, so when we were greeted at the cinema door by Amnesty representatives with their pamphlets and petitions, I wondered just what kind of action pic this was. I ducked the do-gooders, and took a seat.

It was my impression that the film is being marketed as a Ralph Fiennes action pic, (see poster). And while there certainly is a lot of suspense, the true heart of the film lies with Rachel Weisz’s character — the radical activist. The film provides a window into an Africa that we often hear about, but rarely see… sure, the film is indignant about corrupt local officials, warfare, disease, and neglectful (or antipathetic) Western powers. But, it also shows African people who are generous in spirit, and worthy of a better collective future.

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