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Blood Coltan

Title Blood Coltan
Director(s) Patrick Forestrier
Date   released (year) 2007
Production   company Tac Presse
Length 52 mins
Location Democratic Republic of Congo
Keywords/tags Minerals, mining, natural resources,   environmental justice, violence, DRC
Link to film

Synopsis “A hardhitting   documentary that shows us the appalling price paid in Africa to sate our   obession for mobile phones” Source:

Mobile phones: everyone owns one,   they are indispensable in our modern lives. But what almost no one knows: in   each one of these devices is blood. Because these small marvels of technology   do not work without a metal named Coltan. The main source of this material   lies in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is also one of the main   sources for the war there. This film explores how these mobile phones are   funding killings in the Congo and how people with powerful interests are   maintaining this blood trade.


Reviews/discussion There could hardly be   anything more contemporary than a movie about the mobile phones to which we   are all addicted, and the dirty little secret of their manufacture. They all   require the mineral coltan for electronic components, much of which is mined   in a lawless eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, whose   gangsters, warlords and rogue army units “tax” every aspect of this   grisly industry. Coltan mining and mobile-phone use has effectively financed   murder, intimidation and mass rape as a way of life. Danish director Frank   Poulsen has made a tough investigative film about this, demanding that his   own supplier, Nokia, owns up to how much coltan it is buying from the DRC,   and travels out there to see conditions for himself. The mine turns out to be   a chaotic shanty-town on a mountain honeycombed with unsafe tunnels, and   policed by warring factions of scary, trigger-happy bullies. The mining and   gangsterism have grown up together, dysfunctionally hand in hand. The raw   material is shipped out to Malaysia and elsewhere, smelted into tantalum and   it is at this point that the big corporations buy it, firmly incurious as to   its origin. Nokia is deeply uncomfortable about this subject. Did the saintly   Steve Jobs have anything to say? We talk about conflict diamonds; maybe now   is the time to talk about conflict mobile phones.

Source: Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, Thursday 20 October 2011

Links   to other resources

One response to “Blood Coltan

  1. Pingback: Conflict Minerals Rebels and Child Soldiers in Congo | African Environmental Justice: Documentary films

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