Blood Diamond

I saw the movie Blood Diamond (official site) a few days ago at the local theater. Admittedly, I’m not a fan of Leonardo. He’s a good actor, I just don’t really care for him. In this movie, he was good, very good, cheesy accent and all.

The movie’s story revolves around conflict diamonds. Diamonds that are mined by what amounts to slaves, sold by warlords with the profits going to buy weapons. It shows that about the only people involved in this process that aren’t guilty of something are the slaves that are mining the diamonds. Everybody else from the smugglers to the diamond buyers that aren’t even in Africa are guilty of sponsors in the acts of terrors committed and wars over the rights to mine the shiny little rocks. These warlords brainwash children with drugs and alcohol, turning them into little soldiers that aren’t even really aware of what they are doing.

If life was anything like what the movie portrayed, one has to wonder if Sierra Leone would have turned into an early version of Iraq if the diamonds were oil instead.

Back to the movie… the story they came up with to set in this time period is very interesting and keeps you interested in the characters and events in the film. While Leo plays a character that is all about him, Jennifer Connelly is the complete opposite and plays a reporter that is trying to change the world with her words. The third major character in the film, Solomon, was played by Djimon Hounsou, someone I’ve never heard of. He does a phenomenal job as the diamond mine slave.

Overall, the movie was very good. It was a little long, the story probably could have been tightened up a little bit to shave maybe 10 minutes of the 160 minute run time. But it was time well spent. I was entertained and made aware of some recent history that was drowned out by the garbage being reported about Monica Lewenski. I was aware of the blood diamonds, but now I know a bit more about the reality, or at least the portrayed reality, of the conflict that occurred in Africa in the 90’s.

For more information about blood or conflict diamonds, you can visit these sites:
United Nations Conflict Diamonds Information
Wikipedia Entry on Blood Diamonds
Diamond Facts (public relations website that appears to be from the diamond industry)

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