A Spike in Supply-Chain Muckraking

"Blood Diamond" (with Djimon Hounsou, Jennifer Connelly and Leonardo DiCaprio) is among the wave of movies that address the often-hidden social and human toll of economic issues. The trend includes 2004's "Maria Full of Grace" (with Catalina Sandino Moreno, left) and the current documentary "Black Gold," below, about Ethiopia's coffee-export industry. (Warner Bros. Pictures)
By Ann Hornaday
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, December 10, 2006


INT: Office of big movie studio chief, Hollywood. A director is pitching his new film, while the chief behind the big desk swigs vitamin water and fiddles with his BlackBerry.

FIRST-TIME DIRECTOR: Have I got an idea for you, J.B.! Pure gold. Literally!

BIG STUDIO CHIEF: What's it about, kid?

FTD: Well, it's an actioner, with an international chase scene and ripped from the headlines, set in the glamorous but tawdry world of the global gold market.

BSC: But what's it about?

FTD: (in a thin voice): Umm, the supply chain.

BSC: (yelling): The supply chain?

A beat while the chief slams down the vitamin water bottle and bores into the now-trembling director with a laserlike stare.

BSC: Kid, I like your moxie! You've got $50 million with a back-end deal of 10 percent. Now go out there and bring me back a hit!

* * *

An unlikely star has emerged of late on the Hollywood firmament, one buried for years under a bushel of white papers, think tank policy recommendations, IT memos and unread op-eds. Ladies and gentlemen, for your consideration: the supply chain.

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