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Blood Diamond (Special Edition) back to product details

Objectivity thrown out the window
written by SBarnett June 6, 2007 - 1:40 PM PDT
4 out of 8 members found this review helpful
I can't come close to being objective about this film. I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Sierra Leone in the 1970s, and a few years ago I published a novel about the country's civil war. I can see that the film has faults. Many of the scenes could be shortened or even left out, especially the ones that seem only to fill in the backstory. The main storyline is hardly original, and Danny Archer and Maddy Bowen, though well portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio (except for his accent) and Jennifer Connelley, remain familiar characters whose words and actions don't surprise us. The treatment of the Revolutionary United Front seems too one-sidedly negative--the war was more complicated than government good, rebels bad, and while diamonds did play a role, many other things were at work, like tribalism, involvement of other nations and private mercenary corporations, and Sierra Leone's complex history. The film ought to rate about 6 stars, but too much about it touched me too deeply for that. Seeing the men and women and children laugh and cry and smile, hearing them speak Mende and Krio, the landscapes that looked so much like Sierra Leone (even though they were in Mozambique), the food, the palm wine, the club on the beach in Freetown--being immersed in what the people went through--more than made up for the faults. It's a crime that the nations of the world didn't do more to stop the killing in the 90s. But the Kimberley Process (see the Amnesty International website for more info) and the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) are examples of what can be done. This film deserves a great deal of credit for thrusting this dirty little war into the global spotlight--even if it is late and only for a moment. Maybe ten or twelve years from now Hollywood will make a film about Darfur.


(Average 6.81)
62 Votes
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