Blood Diamond was, and still is, an innovative film. For a Hollywood film it deals with some controversial topics, like international diamond and weapon trades, the network between government-soldiers, rebels and private soldiers-of-fortune, the use of child soldiers, civil war, and the traumatizing of civilians.
In contrast to this, the film is set in the fantastic scenery of Sierra Leone. The cinematography is beautiful, and in combination with the soundtrack of James Newton Howard you might dream about booking your next vacation to one of the many nice spots of Africa.
The story is set during the civil war in Sierra Leone, that terrified the country between 1991 and 2002.
The nation of Sierra Leone is rich in diamonds, but it won’t have much profit from it. There are many shareholders, who would kill for these diamonds. They are mined in war zones and sold to finance conflicts. Warlords and diamond companies around the world make a lot of profit with them. So there also called ‘Blood Diamonds’.
And in the movie, different people groups are on the chase for a really big diamond. It’s a story of human greed, in the circumstances of war and lawlessness.
For Danny Archer, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, the diamond is his ticket out. He’s a former soldier who now makes his living by smuggling diamonds from Sierra Leone to Liberia for his former Colonel, who now leads a group of mercenary soldiers. But he’s sick of it, and being a hired gun for years makes him cynical.
Another side of this story follows Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou) who’s trying to find his son, who was kidnapped by the rebel group called RUF. His family is in a refugee camp because the RUF destroyed their small village. Forced to work in a diamond mine, Vandy found the diamond and wants to use it to find information about his son.
And the final piece to this story involves Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Connelly,) a journalist who wants to write a story about blood diamonds, especially about the supply chain from African mines to diamond companies, and finally on the hand of someone’s fiance. She’s looking for reliable sources, so she can base her story on the facts. Maddy knows where she is, and that no one will just give her something. So she’s always looking for opportunities to trick people. Or to deal one information for another.
Blood Diamond is a dramatic thriller set in an adventure setting. The action scenes gives the film more space for the fascinating story itself. To watch the three protagonists walking through the breathtaking setting of the African bush, to find the diamond, not really trusting each other, just focused on their individual aim is fascinating. Similar to watching the character-development.
Djimon Hounsou, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Conelly do a fantastic job. Hounsou is the emotional heart of the movie, as a father who is looking for his son and he delivers his character really well, there’s no doubt that this guy would do anything and everything he can to find him.
DiCaprio and Conelly on the other side are well in making their seedy characters always comprehensive, and with their charisma and great chemistry between each other they have the audience always on their side. Blood Diamond is cinematically pleasing, with some heavy topics that might leave you feeling heavy or hopeless, but it’s one of those popular movies that open people’s eyes and show what origin some diamonds actually have.