Review by Sean Boelman
Jason Kohn’s diamond documentary Nothing Lasts Forever picked up some raves on the spring festival circuit before dropping off the map for a bit and is now resurfacing for release. No matter how specific the subject matter may seem, audiences should not ignore this film, as it makes the most out of its fascinating tale.
In the movie, Kohn takes a peek behind the curtain of the multi-billion-dollar diamond industry, with a specific focus on the conflict between those producing lab-grown diamonds and the legacy companies mining natural diamonds. Many people probably know how nuts the diamond industry can be, but this film has an incredibly unexpected amount of suspense.
In a way, the movie can almost be described as a real-life Uncut Gems in that it’s a high-stakes thriller set in the world of luxury jewelry. Of course, you don’t have Adam Sandler running around and yelling the whole time, but as the viewer, you will still feel like you are being plunged into the seedy underbelly of an industry that peddles the idea of luxury and glamor.
There is a very strong anti-capitalist message to be found in this film and its exposé of how the diamond industry is fundamentally corrupt and shady. Of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty of more shady and sleazy things happening within the diamond industry, but Kohn shines a light on an aspect of the issue of which the general public may not be aware.
The part of this movie that really puts it over the top is its interviews. Any documentary set in the world of high culture can be challenging to pull off because many of the experts tend to feel rather pompous. That said, Kohn has managed to find some exceptionally entertaining and grounded people to talk to in Nothing Lasts Forever, thanks to the fact that many of them have larger-than-life personalities.
Admittedly, many of the interviewees in the film use some pretty intense technical jargon that general audiences likely won’t be familiar with. However, they do a good enough job of explaining what everything means that viewers will be able to follow along with what is happening in the story and appreciate the weight of what is happening.
From a technical level, it’s a staggeringly-executed documentary. The framing is exquisite, both in the interviews and the B-roll, and the editing is sleek, giving it a razor-sharp pace. Kohn wisely keeps the runtime under ninety minutes, weaving together the different story threads in a way that is concise yet expansive.
Even for those who may think they don’t care that much about the diamond industry, Nothing Lasts Forever is an absolutely fascinating watch. Jason Kohn has managed to find a bizarre, interesting story in an unlikely place, and the result is an amazing documentary.
Nothing Lasts Forever hits theaters on November 11.