Blood in the Mobile

Frank Poulsen

There is a dark, bloody side to the production of cell phones. After several unproductive attempts to contact Nokia about this issue, filmmaker Frank Poulsen decides to travel to the inhospitable Bisie mine in Congo to see for himself who is making money on extracting minerals for these phones.

Over the past fifteen years, five million people have been killed during the civil war in Congo. The United Nations have issued countless reports on supposed links between mineral trade and the civil war. Danish filmmaker Frank Poulsen no longer wants to send his wife text messages that could have cost human lives in Congo. He contacts the headquarters of market leader Nokia, but gets no reply. While boasting about its social responsibility, the company cannot guarantee that no minerals from Congo are imported to produce its cell phones. Poulsen decides to travel to the Walikale hamlet and the Bisie mine in Congo, a no go area, to see for himself the dangerous conditions under which cassiterite is extracted by the mine workers, most of whom are minor. He discovers who ultimately reaps the benefits: an official at the Ministry of Agriculture who is himself in charge of a company implicated in the granting of mining rights, army members who collect toll at the mine gate and warlords who buy weapons from the mineral proceeds.

Credits

Subtitles
EN
Content rating
AL
Director
Frank Poulsen
Country
Denmark
Type
Documentary
Duration
82 minutes
Themes
international organizations, journalism, media & propaganda, labour issues & trade unions, trade & globalization
Year
2010