Justin Quayle (Ralph Fiennes), a High-Commissioner delegee into Africa is married to Tessa (Rachel Weisz), a hard-line volunteer. She is killed in a supposedly random armed attack by rebels. As he mourns her, he remebers how he met her, at a journalist meeting, where she attacked his views mercilessly. Later, she got pregnant, although she kept on working. But when they lose the baby, they both become sad, and starts having problems in their marriage. She tells her constantly that he never takes action to solve the problems of poor African people. When Justin starts investigating, he thinks she didn't really love him, but married him in order to help the desperate African refugees. They are given a new vaccination without being informed what it is supposed to be against, or why. Justin investigates further on, and discovers that a new vaccine -dynoxrona- is being tested. It causes many deaths, though, and that fact is being kept quiet. Sandy Woodrow, (Danny Houston) seems to have been Tessa's lover, but he seems to support the pharmaceuticals' illegal activities because of the millions one of them can earn if they are selling the product first to the world. Justin is threatened in London, when he has to quit his job. He returns to Kenya, where he finds that Arnold Bluhm (Hubert Kound) has been tortured to death. British government minister Bernard Pellegrin (Bill Nighy), Justin's ex-boss, seems to be at the core of the conspiracy. Justin is convinced that he can't win or let the cat out of the bag. Justin returns to the same sport where Tessa was killed. He knows that Crick (Nick Reding) or some African gunmen will kill him. Back in London, many relatives, friends, journalists and politicians gather at Justin's funeral. They say that Justin was a discreet man who committed suicide silently. However, Tessa's cousin reads a letter Justin had sent him before dying, disclosing everything. Pellegrin leaves the place in a rage, being taken hundreds of pictures by the few journalists present at the funeral. He speeds off in his official car. However, the pharmaceutical's shares have gone up in stock markets around the world.
Won Oscar. 42 nominations