New film Unwatchable exposes the ‘blood mineral’ trade

New short film 'Unwatchable' exposes The Congo's 'blood mineral' trade and the Western electronic companies involved

New Hollywood-backed short film, Unwatchable, which exposes the ‘blood mineral’ trade in The Democratic Republic of Congo, opens tonight.

The film aims to highlight the link between minerals imported from the Congo used in UK electronics, in particular mobile phones, with the use of rape and murder as weapons of war in the country.

The film, which is shockingly honest and open about the terrible crimes committed in the DRC by armed gangs, is hoping to launch a new campaign to alert people to the number of Congolese raped and murdered every day.

The UN has dubbed the Congo as the rape capital of the world, while nearly 5.5 million people are estimated to have died there since the start of war in 1998.

‘It’s a hard film to watch, but it is nothing compared to what is going on in the Congo on a daily basis. Our aim was to spearhead the campaign with a film that can’t be ignored because the issue is so monstrous and unacceptable,’ said Mark Hawker, director of Unwatchable.

Unwatchable - Marie Claire - Marie Claire UK

The worldwide exportation of Congolese minerals to electronic companies is funding the guerrilla gangs who are committing these atrocities. The short film hopes that through its harrowing scenes it will raise awareness among UK citizens about the part their mobile phones are playing in fuelling the war.

‘Unwatchable’ graphically portrays the true story of a Congolese woman, Masika, who with her family is brutalised at the hands of armed militia. She and her daughters are gang-raped, while her husband is savagely mutilated and murdered.

There is however a twist in the course of the plot, as the powerful re-enactment switches the setting from Central Africa to an idyllic rural setting in England. It forces the viewer to really consider how they would react if this violence was occurring on their doorstep.

The Congo’s vast mineral wealth has been the country’s downfall as armed groups have used its exportation to fund their rampage on the country. These groups then use violence and mass rape to control communities and protect their rich resources.

Some Western electronics companies are using these ‘blood metals’, including tin, tungsten and gold in the production of mobiles, unbeknown to its customers. The producers of the film hope that after watching the film, there will be a public outcry and people will demand an industry change and order that their mobile phone company immediately implement the OECD Due Diligence Guidance.

‘We hope that everyone will get angry, demand that mobile phone manufacturers clean up their supply chain and urge the EU to introduce legislation compelling them to do so,’ said Hawker.

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