Blood Diamond is an Oscar nominated film from 2006 which is directed by Edward Zwick (“Glory” and “The last Samurai”) and written by Charles Leavitt. The setting of the film takes place in Africa, mostly in Sierra Leone and Cape Town, but
also in London, Britain, in the year 1999.
Blood Diamond is based on the events taking place in Africa, but the story is fictional. The main characters are portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly and Djimon Hounsou. The story is about a black man, named Solomon Vandy, and a white man, named Danny Archer. The two very different men are united in the search for a very rare, very valuable diamond. Both of them have different intensions with finding the diamond; Solomon agrees to help Danny to the place where he has hidden the diamond, in exchange for help to find his family.
Solomon Vandy is a black fisherman of the Mende tribe. He lives with his wife, Jassie, his two daughters and his son, Dia, in the village of Shenge, in Sierra Leone. His problem begins when he is caught by the rebellions, R.U.F (Revolutionary
United Front), and sent to the diamond mines, while his family escapes. Solomon cares very much about his family, especially his son, Dia, of whom he is very proud of, and he is willing to do almost everything for them.
Danny Archer is a 31 year old white man and a diamond smuggler, who was born in Zimbabwe. At the age of 19, he
joined the army in Angola and became a mercenary for Colonel Coetzee. Both his parents were killed, his mother raped and shot. Danny works for Van de Kaap, finding diamonds, smuggling them across the boarder to Liberia, and then selling them for the highest price possible. He is willing to do anything – lie, kill and use others – to get what he wants. However, when he is injured, he sacrifices himself for Solomon and Dia so they can get away from the soldiers that are after them. This costs him his life. He is very brave, but is not to be trusted by everyone.
Maddy Bowen is a young, white woman who works as a journalist. Her main goal is to reveal the relationship between the
diamond smuggling from Sierra Leone to Liberia, and the big diamond company’s in Great Britain. She’s smart, tough and daring – nothing is going to stop her getting to the truth. Danny Archer becomes a great source of information to her, but since she doesn’t wish him dead, her article has to wait for Danny to get out of the continent and into safety before it can
be printed. If not, the article will get him killed.
The actors portray the characters very well; there emotions and thoughts are very well placed to act, making it easy for those who see the film to understand why they act like they do.
The beginning of the film is quite peaceful, which gives a contrast to the events taking place during the rest of the film. In this film, suspense is created by feeding those who watch little bits with information from the events taking place with the different persons, and then by putting the main characters together.
The ending, after the turning point, is no surprise – it makes the seer suspect that Mr. Vandy will have a good future. But, at the same time, it focuses on the problems that are still to be found in Sierra Leone today, as well in all of Africa. I would classify this film as a ‘wake up call’.
This was a very emotional film – it made me cry. It focuses on the situation in Africa in a very touching way, which made me want to do something immediate. But the scenes are very strong, therefore I would not recommend it to people who have, for instance, recently lost someone in their family, or who have a difficult time watching others suffer. If it was my decision, I might not have seen it, since I’m very easily affected and tend to dwell too much on these kinds of
subjects. However, I do not regret have been watching this film. It gave me a very good picture of what’s going on there – luckily, for us; we have the choice to stop thinking about it once it’s over. The problem is that the inhabitants in Africa
don’t have this option.