REVIEW: Mine Your Own Business
February 19, 2007
‘Mine Your Own Business’ a dramatised look at the issues of mining and environmentalist, dubbed the darker side of environmentalism. The documentary is in the same tone but opposite ideology of films from Michael Moore, Al Gore, and Co.
It wears its potential bias on its sleeves – a mining company funds the film, but the filmmakers claim the company had no editorial control, they have said the company was fine with this and the result was the least interfered project they have worked on.
But who has editorial control is trivial; this sensationalised style of film with a singular focus, generally doesn’t lead itself to balance. The issues are black and white; there is only ‘good’ and ‘bad’.
In the film, a number of people on the streets of an Eastern European mining village are interviewed; the results strangely give more importance that would be attached to a measured and scientific opinion poll.
The story of one of the village’s families is told, rather then finding an accurate picture of the whole town. A member of the family is allowed to jet off to Africa and South America with the crew. It’s more entertaining then any measured approach. The format doesn’t allow for measurement, but has time for humour and sidetracking.
If ‘Mine Your Own Business’ excels at just one thing, it is to create little doubt that environmental NGOs have genuine problems within their ranks, that they are unwilling tackle. To a lesser extent, it highlights that the motives of NGOs have to be questioned.
There is no balance in this area, everything an NGO says is questioned, or is countered with an off-the-wall comment from a spokesman talking about his luxury boat or house that is being built in one of the poorest areas in the world. But when the mining companies speak their words, they are always written in stone and never challenged.
Most people won’t find any revelations in this film, but it does highlight the serious problems facing NGOs which are blindly ignored. Why? In structure, they have become blindingly alike the companies they blindingly hate. While lacking in balance in its own right, it is a balance to the polarised other side of so-called ‘documentaries’.