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26 December 2006

Movie Queue: Blood Diamond

Leonardo DiCaprio
Djimoun Hounsou
Jennifer Connolly

Amidst civil war and chaos in 1990's Sierra Leone, poor farmer Solomon Vandy (Hounsou) is taken from his family to work in the diamond mines; While in prison for smuggling, South African mercernary, Danny Archer (DiCaprio) learns that Solomon has found and hidden a rare pink diamond. With the help of Maddy Bowen (Connolly), an American journalist intent on getting a story about diamond smuggling, Solomon and Danny embark on a journey to retrieve the diamond.

Truthfully, I had reservations about seeing this movie. I was assuming I would be something akin to "Roots" or "Amistad" (Hounsou starred in this as well) in which injustices were made against blacks by whites. What my mother and I refer to as "Movies where we come out hating white folks." Momentarily, of course. I assumed wrong. Partially, anyway. There were injustices made against blacks, but it was by blacks themselves. "Why would we do this to ourselves?" was a question that was asked in the movie and one I was asking myself as well. Why would you want to hurt your own people? It just didn't make sense to me. I saw them chop off limbs of some of the men and boys, giving them a choice of "long-sleeved or short sleeved" while killing the rest; how they took little boys, like Solomon's son, and made them into killing machines for their cause; saw the refugee camp where Solomon's wife and two girls ended up, a small city in the middle of desert.

Despite the fact that I was enjoying DiCaprio's South African accent, I was cringing more often than not at all the senseless violence. It was almost a constant thing, and if it wasn't actually happening, you were waiting tensely in your seat, anticipating it. By the end of the movie, I was praying that Solomon would remember where he buried the damn thing. Praying he would get his son back. Praying he would find it and get his family the hell outta there. I'm not going to give away the ending, but it left me wanting to kick the back of the seat in front of me and groaning, "Not again."

I saw this by myself last week and in spite of my reservations, I really liked this movie. I learned something during (the smuggling of illegal diamonds) and after (even though Sierra Leone is currently at peace, there are still 200,000 military boys out there). It was also thought-provoking. As I left the theater, I glanced down at my wedding band. I looked at how the sunlight bounced off the solitaire and the thin band of gems behind it and it made me wonder, "Are my diamonds conflict-free diamonds? How many died so that I could have this?"

Review: 4 Snaps Up


posted by GeminiWisdom @ 11:46 AM |


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