True/False Review: Blood in the Mobile

4 03 2011

By: Kelly Gehringer

Runtime: 1 hr. 22 minutes

IMDb: 6.6/10

This film exists because Frank Poulsen had the conscience to ask questions that no one else wants to ask. When he discovered that his Nokia cell phone was made from minerals that fund a civil war in the Eastern Congo, he not only decided that he did not want to be a part of it, but that he would go to find out how this injustice is happening.

As you watch Poulsen obtain stamps on permit after permit and travel through the dangerous depths of the Congo, you may become a little tense in your seat. You also may become uncomfortable when you hear graphic stories about rape, see weapons strapped to almost every body the camera encounters and witness the disturbing working conditions children endure in mines.

Arguably just as difficult to watch are Poulsen’s attempts to discuss these disturbing human rights violations with a few of the 100,000 plus Nokia employees who reluctantly agree to comment about them. Nokia has known about the relationship between mining and warfare in the Congo for more than 10 years and still no one has answers.

In the Congo, the warning “Be careful – anything can happen” are uttered to Poulsen multiple times by officials, yet he makes it to the bottom of the mine to experience the injustice for himself. The sweaty, crowded, loud mines are not welcoming as Poulsen attempts to film with no promise of returning dozens of feet back up to ground level. He receives the same inhospitable response from the representatives in the high-rise Nokia headquarters. Blood in the Mobile is a compelling journey through Poulsen’s brave initiative to ask the questions that no one wants to ask. You’ll think twice the next time your cell phone rings.

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