Saturday, September 09, 2006

IMDB Plot Summary for
The Blood Diamond
Set against the backdrop of civil war and chaos in 1990's Sierra Leone, Blood Diamond is the story of Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio) - a South African mercenary - and Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou) - a Mende fisherman. Both men are African, but their histories as different as any can be, until their fates become joined in a common quest to recover a rare pink diamond that can transform their lives. While in prison for smuggling, Archer learns that Solomon - who was taken from his family and forced to work in the diamond fields - has found and hidden the extraordinary rough stone. With the help of Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Connelly), an American journalist whose idealism is tempered by a deepening connection with Archer, the two men embark on a trek through rebel territory, a journey that could save Solomon's family and give Archer the second chance he thought he would never have.

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The movie begins with a white type face on black background. The screen showed three separate statements about the illegal diamond trade in Sierra Leone. The first scene is of the RUF rebel force wiping out Solomon’s village. It’s a very violent scene. His family escapes but he is taken captive by the RUF. Many of the captives get their hands cut off by machete. The strong are taken to diamond mines to work as slave labor under the RUF. The movie has many long violent scenes and shows the terror that is inflicted upon the people of Sierra Leone. It is graphic in its depiction of what happens to the native children as well. They are shown trained to become soldiers for the rebel forces and also shown with cut off hands and feet. The movie constantly links the desire for diamonds and the violence that is wreaked on these people. Jennifer Connelly’s character makes a direct statement that if women knew what took place to obtain the diamond for their engagement rings, they would not want them. DeBeers is given a veiled treatment but fingered ultimately as the driving force behind the harm that is done. The movie states that DeBeers (given a different name in the movie) creates false demand by buying up product to create a false shortage and drive prices higher. The movie also shows DeBeers as knowingly purchasing conflict diamonds, mixing them with safe diamonds, and sometimes holding them for a period until they cannot be tracked. The movie shows the smuggler’s ability to misrepresent his diamonds as coming from other countries and being able to give them a false clean history. It’s a very violent and emotionally charged movie. The entire plot and crux of the movie turns on the trade of conflict diamonds. At the very end of the movie the screen goes black again and a few statements again appear on the screen. They briefly describe the Kimberly process in one sentence but then add that it relies upon the industry’s self policing and the consumers’ awareness of the problem of conflict diamonds.
This movie is based on a documentary by the same name available on DVD at riceandpeas.com
I'm sure this movie is a strong Oscar contender. It's emotional, action packed, strong acting, and has a good plot and screenplay.
When it comes to a theater near you I suggest you go see it.
If you purchased a diamond from 1990 until 2000, you will question the life of the stone before it became yours.