Dirty Pretty Things

Just watched Dirty Pretty Things.

It depicts a seedier side of London. A London where illegal immigrants sell their kidneys for a forged passport. The operations are butcheries, and some survive, most don’t.

The operations manager, lets call him the villain, justifies the whole thing because he is in the business of making people happy. The immigrant gets a passport so he is happy. The villain sells the kidney for ten thousand pounds so he is happy and a dying rich person get’s a new kidney and a new lease on life so they are happy.

When it comes down to it, it’s all just plain economics. The villain is exploiting a ready market, he is an intermediary. Intermediaries spring up wherever there is a demand for a product and a ready supply. He connects the buyer with the seller, and finishes the deal. Of course he is a villain because he uses sub-standard medical procedures, unqualified doctors and plainly exploits his suppliers. This is why many die.

He doesn’t use proper equipment and qualified doctors because he is a criminal. But also because he has to operate outside the system. And the system does not give health services to those outside its limits, because what it can’t see doesn’t exist. Illegal organ transplants are a criminal operation, never mind that most of its victims participate voluntarily, because they are desperate.

The desperate immigrants run away from home due to poverty or war. The countries they are running away from are often run by corrupt regimes where people have no rights. Banana republics exploited for their natural resources by their ruling elites and behind the scenes, multinational corporations with the implicit support of the very countries towards which the desperate immigrants run to.

So who is to blame? Where does the moral responsibility rest? Does morality even have a role? Morality here is outsourced, everyone is technically happy. Except those at the bottom who are just technically desperate. They are reaped like so many harvests.

The movie is great. Its poignant and, unlike the trailer, doesn’t have an annoying deep bass voice telling you how many people live in London.


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