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Connecting People

Production year: 2009 | 1*88 | Genres: Current Affairs
This journey in the wake of the mobile phone takes viewers to remote and near-inaccessible corners of the war-torn Congo Republic to tightly controlled China and to Hong Kong, a haven for smugglers.
Origin country: Norway
Production company: NRK Norsk Rikskringkasting AS
Original title: "Connecting People"
Original language: Norwegian
Formats: SD | 16:9 | M&E

"Connecting People" is the first documentary ever to take a searching look at the life cycle of the mobile telephone.

"Connecting People" is the first documentary ever to take a searching look at the life cycle of the mobile telephone. In our role as users, we in the West are inextricably linked to the people behind the phone's facade elsewhere in the world. To those who extract the rare metals from which the phones are manufactured, those who man the production lines and those who dismantle the phones when their useful life is at an end - in short, to the people all over the world who pay the price in order that we may benefit from cheap and ever more sophisticated mobile telephones.

This journey in the wake of the mobile phone takes viewers to remote and near-inaccessible corners of the war-torn Congo Republic to tightly controlled China and to Hong Kong, a haven for smugglers.

"Connecting People" exposes, among other things, child labour and inhuman conditions in the mines of the Congo, long working days and unlawful practices on Chinese assembly lines, organized crime at collecting points for electronic waste in Norway, the smuggling of such waste via Hong Kong to China, and the health hazards to which the children and pregnant women who live and work on the refuse dumps of China where mobile phones and other toxic electronic waste end up in violation of international laws and conventions, are subject.

Not least, the programme provides an intriguing insight into the lives of the people behind the price-tag - and into their intimate thoughts and feelings. Girls working in the production plants, for example, tell on camera of the rigours of their work, with no attempt to hide their identity.

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first documentary devoted to the entire life cycle of the mobile phone. It gives users, the industry and politicians an unprecedented opportunity to see for themselves every link in the chain and how the manufacture of mobile phones affects both human beings and the environment.

"Connecting People" has already prompted Norway's Minister for Consumer Affairs to convene a meeting of representatives of the electronics industry and voluntary organizations to form a working committee designed to prevent abuse of the people who make our mobile phones.

Still images


This program is featured in the following article(s):

”Connecting People” receives award (Jun 2010)
Nordic World attends IDFA – Docs for sale (Nov 2010)
Nordic World’s first North American deal (Jan 2011)

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