Blood Diamond is a story set in 1999 in civil war ravaged Sierra Leone. The economy of Sierra Leone, then and now, revolves around diamond mining and in 1999 the country was in chaos as rebels and the military fought over control of these diamond mines.
Leonardo DiCaprio plays Danny Archer, a diamond smuggler for a major international diamond company. Archer shows no regard for where he gets the diamonds from, only that he acquires them. Djimon Hounsou plays Solomon Bo, a fisherman whose village is destroyed by the rebels who force Bo into slavery in one of their diamond mines. Bo`s wife and children escape the rebels but are impossible for him to locate on his own. While working in the mines Bo finds a priceless diamond and realizing its significance, he hides it. Archer and Bo cross paths as Archer hears about this diamond and knows that Bo he can lead him to it. A deal is struck between the two wherein Archer agrees to help Bo find his family in exchange for help in finding this diamond.
Throughout this movie Danny Archer`s disregard for the origin of the diamonds he trades causes the trading of many diamonds that come from rebel controlled and slave labour driven diamond mines. These are blood diamonds, or conflict diamonds, and they end up mixed with legitimate diamonds and sold to Jewellers all over the world. This is where this movie is controversial, it is unclear how many of the worlds diamonds are conflict diamonds and critics say this movie exaggerates the problem. Sierra Leone is now peaceful and it is said that legitimate diamond mining is the backbone of their economy, critics have said that because of these facts Blood Diamond undeservedly casts a shadow over Sierra Leone`s current mining industry.
Whether conflict diamonds are as big a problem as this movie implies is not clear but nobody disputes that they have been a problem and still exist today. The makers of Blood Diamond should be applauded, in my opinion, for bringing attention to our need in the wealthy west to consider a diamond`s origin before buying it.
Blood Diamond is a well made movie with outstanding acting performances by DiCaprio and Hounsou. An intense movie with images that at times haunt the viewer and at other times inspire. This movie was not without its faults, the pacing dragged at times for one thing, but this can be overlooked in the bigger picture of the powerful story being told.
I put Blood Diamond on my `Watch It` list and give it a value of $8.
March 27, 2007
Blood Diamond - $8
Rarely is a movie anything more than mindless entertainment, even when a movie does offer something extra it is often nothing more than a simple life lesson or profound statement which elevates a movie to more than just mere fun. Blood Diamond is the rarest of all, a movie which inspires its viewer to look at something in their world in a new way.