iBlog: Blood Diamond


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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Blood Diamond

La and me went to see this film last night at UCI and was certainly worth the £6.50 Orange Wednesday.

Blood Diamond is the newest film on the bandwagon of Western films about its own well mannered pillage of developing nations. It comes after recent landmarks such as Hotel Rwanda, Lord of War, Beyond Borders and The Constant Gardener which explored themes such as genocide, international arms trade, refugees and pharmaceutical companies. Blood Diamond explores some new themes to the arena, such as child soldiery, pseudo-freedom fighters, smuggling, corruption, and of course, the path taken from the mining of blood diamonds to them adorning the hands of naive white Westerners.

The film is set in Sierra Leone where at the end of the last century, militia rebels fought the government for control of the nation's diamond mines. The militia attack a village of nationalists, where the women and elderly are killed, the men taken to work in the mines and the children taken as soldiers. One of the men taken as a slave finds a massive diamond and hides it that he can come back later to dig it up. A white arms dealer from Rhodesia hears of this and talks the black man into finding the diamond as their `ticket out of this God forsaken continent`. During this pursuit, the man's son is taken by the rebel militia and the film tracks his training as a child soldier, and his wife is left as a refugee in the hands of the UN.

Luckily, unlike Beyond Borders, the film is unapologetic in its narrative of the harsh reality of African warzones and illustrates the lamentable lack of value a human life has when uncivilization finds a rich mineral. The film isn't an academic education like Lord of War, where statistics and emotive narration fill in the gaps of the story but rather it serves as more of an eye opener to the Western audience to think about the history of their diamonds and the lives that were taken to make them currency - the end of the film comments that the only way blood diamonds will be stopped will be down to the consumer in the high street.

If you're willing to be shocked to be a better and more conscientious individual and consumer, then I'd definitely advise you watch this film, and soon. Infact, if you're Carl, you're obliged to watch it and that's a bloggicly binding contract.

Bad points: the subtle unspoken chemistry between the only two whites in the film which seemed like hollywooding the film for its own sake. But we'll forgive that in leu of Leonardo DiCaprio's, and all the supporting cast's absolutely awesome performance.


  • At 2:14 PM, Blogger Timothy V Reeves said…

    Sounds like a very thought provoking film. It goes to show that just as everyone has suspected, there is a wishy washy liberal in Ben trying to get out!

    I have to confess that when it comes to cinema I tend to favour the escapist slap stick drama type stuff like Star Wars, Terminator, Alien etc, so I suppose I ought to acquire a taste for something more thoughtful - although the wife did get me along to Pride and Predjudice and Shakespeare in love.

    BTW: When I was young I had a rifle just like the one the boy in your picture is holding - it was an Airfix FN rifle and it fired (at a politically correct low velocity) plastic bullets, but the barrel eventually broke off. I would have given my eye teeth to have the real thing like this kid in your picture. Aren't African children spoilt?

  • At 9:45 AM, Blogger Ben F. Foster Esq. (c) said…

    I think this isn't a new genre of film, more a quasi-revolution, where cinema is being used as a medium to inform rather than entertain. I welcome it, and I think you would too if you saw it.

    And African children in those pics aren't spoilt, that's the point.

  • At 2:00 PM, Blogger Timothy V Reeves said…

    African children not spoilt? You don't say.....
    You can't be serious Ben!

  • At 3:51 PM, Blogger Ben F. Foster Esq. (c) said…

    maybe it's my period being stroppy, but I jst think as people of privelege, there are things to joke and be sarcastic about, and things to talk about in humility and compassion.

  • At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    And there is me thinking Norbit was more your kind of film :-p

  • At 10:26 PM, Blogger Ben F. Foster Esq. (c) said…

    what's norbit?


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