The Diamond industry has sold consumers a bill of goods for a long, long time, and the documentary “Nothing Lasts Forever” is a no-holds-barred look at the slick marketing campaign that has, by design, deceived shoppers for years. It’s a controversial topic presented in an entertaining way, and it may educate you to the point that you’ll never want to buy a natural diamond ever again.
The world of the diamond business is highly secretive, and filmmaker Jason Kohn goes behind the scenes to expose the many layers of dishonesty practiced by those in charge. He interviews industry insiders, workers, and consumer advocates and presents a clear, thorough exploration of the topic.
Much of the film is dedicated to the surge in lab created diamonds, many of which are indistinguishable from the real thing. With the market evolving (and these “fake” stones costing less than a third of the price of natural ones), shoppers are wising up. Those in the highest positions in the diamond industry are adamant that synthetic gems are absolutely worthless and will never have the same value as a natural diamond. The truth is, it’s the powerful “diamond cartel” that sets prices and market value, be it real or symbolic.
It’s troubling to hear those in charge openly share their deliberate mis-marketing tactics, like how they work tirelessly to equate naturally-mined diamonds with love and worth. They refer to synthetic stone craftsmen as “parasites” who are hell-bent on “trying to steal the diamond dream.” It’s especially clear that they’re angry their massive wealth and secret illusion is being legitimately threatened by changing attitudes. Just watch their demeanor when Kohn delves into that line of questioning.
Many of the talking heads have no shame when expressing their contemptuous attitudes towards the general public. They want to take your money and give you as little as possible for it. Learning just how poorly they view buyers will make your blood boil.
Even if you aren’t interested in the diamond world, “Nothing Lasts Forever” is enjoyable because it’s a documentary that plays like a low-key thriller. It’s a thorough and entertaining study of the power of marketing (and the game of expert manipulation and control of the market), and the hold it can have on consumers the world over.
By: Louisa Moore