Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Blood Diamond (2006)

Blood Diamond was one of the best action films I've ever watched. An action packed drama with a conscience movie produced and directed by Edward Zwick, which has been nominated in the Academy Awards last 2006. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Danny Archer, Jennifer Connelly as Maddy Bowen and Djimon Hounsou as Solomon Vandy, the film portrays a country torn apart by the struggle between government soldiers and brutal rebel forces. The film depicts many of the atrocities including rebels cutting off people's hands to stop them from voting in upcoming elections.

Set against the backdrop of civil war and chaos in 1990’s Sierra Leone, the story begun when Solomon Vandy, a fisherman by the Revolutionary United Front(RUF) rebels was separated from his family and enslaved to work under the command of Captain Poison, the commander of the RUF. The group collects a precious stones diamonds use to finance their war effort often trading them for arms. While working in the diamond fields as a forced laborer, Solomon found a large diamond of rare pink coloring. Just the time when the government troop launch an attack, Captain Poison sees Solomon hiding the diamond. But he was injured in the attack before he can get the stone and both he and Solomon were arrested. Meanwhile, Solomon's son Dia was kidnapped by the RUF and brainwashed to become a child soldier.

Danny Archer is a South African smuggler who specializes in the sale of "blood diamonds," also known as "conflict diamonds”. He trades arms for diamonds with an RUF commander. But when the time he smuggled the diamonds neighboring to Liberia, he was arrested. He was smuggling for a South African mercenary named Colonel Coetzee, he's former commander in 32nd Battalion, the most decorated unit of the South African Border War made up of Angolan soldiers and white South African officers which in turn employed by South African diamond company executive Van De Kaap. Archer is desperate for a way to repay Colonel Coetzee for the diamonds he lost when he was arrested. While in prison, he overhears Captain Poison ranting to Solomon about the discovery of the large diamond and makes plans to hunt down the stone. He arranges for Solomon's release from prison and offers to help him find his family in exchange for the diamond.

Archer meets Maddy Bowen, an American journalist covering the war and investigating the illegal diamond trade. Archer convinces Bowen to help him and Solomon find Solomon's family. They find his family in a UN refugee camp in Guinea inhabited by over a million refugees. Solomon's son Dia is not with them and Archer uses this to convince Solomon to help him find the diamond.

They found the mining camp where Solomon hides the diamond and was reunited with his son. But Colonel Coetzee was also after the diamond, so he dispatched the RUF rebels in a massive air raid and made a deal with Archer forces Solomon to retrieve the stone. But Archer realized they would have killed both him and Solomon upon locating the diamond so he killed Coetzee. At this point, Dia holds Archer at gunpoint, but Solomon manages to convince him to side with them. Unable to continue due to a gunshot wound he sustained in the fight, Archer gives Solomon the diamond and urges him to leave Sierra Leone to sell the diamond in London. Before drop to his wound, he makes a final phone call to Bowen asking her to help Solomon as a last favor.

With the help of Bowen, Solomon negotiates a large sum of money for the diamond and his wife and children. Bowen later publishes a magazine piece that exposes the trade in "conflict" or "blood" diamonds. The film ends with Solomon addressing a conference on blood diamonds in Kimberly, South Africa to describe his experience of the diamond mining and trade and accompanying war in Sierra Leone. This is in reference to a real meeting that took place in Kimberley in 2000 and led to the Kimberly Process Certification Process which seeks to certify the origin of diamonds in order to curb the trade in conflict diamonds.

1 comment:

jumong79 said...

I have already watched this film and it's really great... The film tackles about the diamonds in Africa being use by greed people...

Lots of stories to learn from this film.

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