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Blood Diamond

 

The Diva's review of
Blood Diamond(2006)

 


Blood Diamond Rated R; running time of 2 hours and 23 minutes
Genre: Thriller/ Action
Written by: Charles Leavitt
Directed by: Edward Zwick
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly, Djimon Hounsou, Arnold Vosloo, Ntare Mwine, Caruso Kuypers
U.S. Release Date: 12/08/06


WARNING - SPOILERS BELOW.

The Digest

1999 Sierra Leone is ravished by civil war. Genocide is practiced in every corner and village. Women and children are raped, men and boys are sometimes slaughter, other times arms and legs are amputated.

We are introduced to Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou), who is a humble fisherman. A loving husband and father who only wants the best for his family. He makes sure that his young son, Dia (Caruso Kuypers),goes to a school so one day he may become a Doctor - a doctor or anything else that will give him a better life.

A better life that he may never see when armed rebels hit his village. They run through the village killing and maiming. Solomon gets his family out, but he himself is captured. He is saved from amputations when the general decided that he is strong enough to work the diamond mines. Solomon is now separated from his wife ,son, and two daughters and toiling away in the diamond mines. The only thing that keeps him going is thoughts of reuniting with his family until one day he finds something very special – a pink diamond. A rare find that is worth millions, he does not know this, but he does know that it’s special. He hides it and not a moment too soon as the camp is raided by the government.

It is after this that a chance encounter bring him to the attention Rhodesian (he refuses to use the new name of the country, Zimbabwe) "soldier of fortune" Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio). Archer is a gun runner and a diamond smuggler. After learning of the diamond he makes a deal with Solomon – if Solomon gives him the diamond, he will help him find his family. Archer goes for help to American journalist Maddy Brown (Jennifer Connelly) for help. She agrees in exchange for an exclusive on the dirty diamond trade. Specifically how these diamonds end up on the market at the expensive of people like Solomon.

Corrupt government, corrupt military, brutal rebels - they are taking HUGE risks to get this diamond, but an even bigger risk finding Dia. He is now a rebel, and Solomon is going to put everything on the line to get him back. But what is “everything”? And can the 3 of them actually out smart the military and the rebels?

The Dish

You know, I’m sick of seeing all of this African brutality shown on the big screen. I don’t want movies about it to stop, I want the violence itself to stop. I I do not understand how this happens. I can not fathom feeling so powerless that you would kill and abuse all of your own people. This really goes beyond greed. And notice that western civilization is on the back end of this. What ever resource we covet – oil, diamonds, gold, gems – that African country devolves into civil war and genocide. It makes me ill.

This movie is social commentary piece masquerading as an action flick. What’s really at the bottom of it is trying to educate the world on “conflict diamonds” Diamonds that are mined by kidnapped and brutalized citizens who never see a dime. It was enough to almost make me throw my ring away – almost. My ring is 80 years old, so I think it’s probably not a conflict diamond.

Off the soap box, this movie was very enjoyable, thrilling even. I’ve never seen Djimon like this. I truly believed that was his family and he would do anything for them. Young Caruso Kuypers is the next stand out. His character is literally dehumanized at the age of maybe 10. This young man captures the anger and vacantness that someone in that situation faces.

The Directive Don’t be fooled this isn’t your typical action flick.

 

 

3BC Ratings

flashing yellow light

 

At little slow and far-fetched at times, but worth a viewing.


Copyright Kamal "The Diva" Larsuel-Ulbricht, 2006
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