...engaging and discerning culture, as a way of life...

December 11, 2006

Blood Diamond - 7

Blood Diamond gives us a picture of the brutal side of the Western pursuit of the bling-bling lifestyle. The film follows three characters each with their own reasons and motivations for pursuing a buried diamond. Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio) has made a living being a mercenary and diamond smuggler for a major European diamond company. When he hears that a poor farmer, Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou), who has been forced to work in the diamond mines, has hidden a large diamond in the jungle, he uses Solomon’s displaced family as a lure to get to the diamond that might allow Danny to leave Africa forever. Along the way, they meet a desperate and compassionate journalist, Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Connelly), who is looking for the story that can change Western views of the diamond industry.
Each of the characters is continually faced with choices that they know will define who they are. Each of them are complex people who struggle to know what to do. The line between right and wrong has become hazy, as the bullets and hatred spread because of the greedy pursuit of diamonds. As the struggle becomes harder and they can now only trust each other, they come to recognize that they are starting to be the people they hate. They have forgotten who they wanted to be- who they were meant to be.
In a key scene near the end of the film, Solomon must remind his own son, who has been taken in by the rebels and can now kill unflinching, who he is. He pleads with him to once again come back to being a son of the father. The son has been taken in by the false hope of a utopia brought about by Uzi’s. The father reminds him that he is defined by his love of family and the hope he has, not by the false power of a gun.
It is a great film, becuase its politics, heroics, and emotion never go over the top, they remain within a very human realm, which is what all films should be in the pursuit of.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This movie was probably one of the most humbling, moving and emotional movies I have ever seen, tied I think with Hotel Rwanda. I walked out of the movie theatre with tears streaked across my face, and I was just silent. It's amazing to me how we in the Western Hemisphere (myself included), take SO much for granted, and how it is so easy to forget that there are whole countries that are forced to live day to day like that. There is no "bad guy" or "good guy", just people trying to live to see tomorrow. I think that everyone needs to be reminded of that once and a while.