The Constant Gardner -Theme . QUEST FOR THE TRUTH. Overview of Justin’s Quest . Tessa’s death – Justin returns home and discovers secret box. . Talks to Ghita about Tessa’s report on Dypraxa. . Finds Dypraxa box with ‘Wanza Kilulu’ and Sandy’s love letter. .
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Tessa’s death – Justin returns home and discovers secret box.
Talks to Ghita about Tessa’s report on Dypraxa.
Finds Dypraxa box with ‘Wanza Kilulu’ and Sandy’s love letter.
Finds Kioko and reads his card that shows he is being treated with Dypraxa.
Talks to Kenny Curtis about report and to Tim, the spy.
Finds no paitient and post-mortem records of Wanza.
Returns to London to have lunch with Pellegrin asks what he did with Tessa’s report.
Talks to Ghita – finds out Arnold is gay.
Goes on car ride with Kenny and finds out where Wanza is buried.
Talks to Tim about not giving up his quest.
Goes to Tessa’s flat to have a cry and think of Tessa.
Goes to see Dr Lorbeer in Sudan and receives Pellegrin’s letter and finds out he told hitmen about Tessa’s location.
Returns to Kenya on “safari tour” to talk to Sandy about report and affair.
Goes to Berlin via subway and meets Birgit(?) asks “Just... a few questions” on Dypraxa testing.
He is waiting to be killed at Lake Turkana to be home with Tessa as the letter he sent was read at his funeral.
Visual implications of ‘gardening’ and ‘weeds’ are also bound to Justin’s journey, such as his own grave, which is shown briefly to be a garden, and the shots of scenery to display the ‘world’s garden’—Africa, being used as an experiment to launch Britain’s stock-market sky-high, much like the footage shown of Justin growing plants, carefully handling each as an ‘experiment.’
Techniques used to incite these conclusions include the using shots of poverty-stricken Kenyans lining up in a crowded market to receive Dypraxa, a developing drug to treat TB with disturbing side effects—and also choosing to show how the young children are treated, often being left behind to fend for themselves.
Near the end of the film, two children are chasing a camera and trying to get in its optical range by giggling and giving a ‘thumbs up.’ This naive albeit sunny-optimism is mirrored in their eyes, and by having the camera look DOWN on them, emphasizes their vulnerability. Even more so when sharply contrasted with the cold, bleak scenery of the British airports and railways, where only old men in suits are shown with their faces half-shadowed.
The title IS a metaphor in itself: Justin and Tessa are, essentially, the Constant Gardeners, though Justin only picks up his role after Tessa’s death; and constant gardener’s continuous weeding goes on until the big weeds (ThreeBees, KDH) are finally eliminated via the legal system.