Screened as part of NZIFF 2005

A Decent Factory 2004

Directed by Thomas Balmès

Can a corporation balance profit-making and social responsibility? Cellphone giant Nokia sends their Ethics and Environmental Specialist to China to audit one of its suppliers in this revealing documentary.

Finland / France / UK In Cantonese, English and Finnish with English subtitles
79 minutes Beta-SP / DigiBeta

Director, Screenplay, Photography


Catherine Gouze


Amsterdam Documentary 2004; Adelaide 2005


“Can a corporation balance profit-making and social responsibility? With Western multinationals outsourcing production to countries with cheaper labour, inferior working conditions and loose environmental standards, this is a central question for corporate managers, investors and customers. In Thomas Balmès’ revealing film, Finnish cellphone giant Nokia gets more than it bargained for when it decides to audit one of its Asian suppliers. Leading the mission is Nokia’s recently hired Ethics and Environmental Specialist who travels to Shenzhen, China to meet with the European and Chinese managers of a local factory and tour their facilities. The consultants don’t have to dig too far to unearth numerous violations of the already lax Chinese laws on minimum wage and working conditions… With surprising humour, Balmès presents the awkward dance between the probing Nokia inspectors and uneasy local managers, fashioning a perceptive insider’s look at a not-so-decent factory that gives new meaning to the phrase ‘Made in China.’” — Karen Tisch, Hot Docs. “Fascinating!” — Financial Times