Nothing Lasts Forever
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Jason Kohn’s revealing documentary shows how the precious stone’s value is driven by ruthless marketing and more than a little delusion.
How do you take a natural commodity that can be easily unearthed in some parts of the world and turn it into something precious? For global diamond cartel De Beers, the answer was simple: establish a stranglehold on ownership, create demand through limited availability and promote its wares as the ultimate acquisition. However, the emergence of synthetic – not to be mistaken with fake – diamonds has thrown a wrench into the absurdly lucrative business of precious stones. But the ‘real’ diamond industry is fighting back…
With access to key members of the industry, from those who mine for diamonds to the people who control their sale, Kohn’s incendiary film pulls the curtain away from an industry that, like any market that doesn’t rely on a commodity essential for living, is driven by smoke, mirrors and, in this instance, a lot of sparkle. At the same time, the film also focuses on the mineral’s importance to the science and medical industries, and how inflated prices can have a harmful impact upon them. The rise of a synthetic alternative offers a solution, but as these man-made stones become increasingly difficult to distinguish from their natural counterparts, the more glamorous diamond trade has become active in protecting its interests. Nothing Lasts Forever skilfully weaves all these elements together, presenting a fascinating portrait of greed, glamour and ruthless business practice.