Watch: Chiwetel Ejiofor Wrote and Directed a Short Film About the World's Relationship with the Congo

Watch: Chiwetel Ejiofor Wrote and Directed a Short Film About the World's Relationship with the Congo

Jan 24, 2014

There’s a neat series of short-film collaborations happening between players at London’s famous theater company the Young Vic and The Guardian. British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor is the latest talent to step behind the camera, this time for a piece about the division of wealth in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The actor played Congolese independence leader Patrice Lumumba, who became the Republic’s first democratically elected prime minister, at the Vic last year. He’ll resume the role for an upcoming film adaptation of the same production, Aimé Césaire's A Season in the Congo.

In the meantime, Ejiofor has created this short work, which he wrote about for The Guardian:

As I researched for the play, I became fascinated by the story of coltan: an extraordinary mineral that's mined mainly in the eastern areas of the present-day Congo. In the ground, it's a metallic ore; when refined, it acquires unique heat-resistant characteristics that make it perfect for use in electronic capacitors. As a result, it is present in nearly every electronic device you can name. Coltan is with us almost everywhere we are – in smartphones, laptops, desktop computers, games consoles – but few people have heard of it. And its story reaches back directly to Congo, where the mining industry has been linked with everything from bankrolling civil wars in the region to the destruction of gorilla habitats.

Ejiofor has manifested these tragedies into a story about how the capitalist system is played like a video game, but one with terrible consequences. Watch the star’s powerful short film, and head to The Guardian to explore more short films in this series.

[Spotted via Dangerous Minds]



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