Genre: Drama /
Directed by: Edward Zwick
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou, Jennifer Connelly,
Kagiso Kuypers, Arnold Vosloo
Released by: Warner
Short: Intensely personal, yet global in
scope, with fine acting and powerful visuals,
"Blood Diamond" is a strong candidate
for the Academy Awards.
A Winning Combo of Global
Policies and Personal Strife
Diamond" is everything a movie should be. With
a relevant sociopolitical issue serving as the backdrop
for a very personal struggle, it is told with beautiful
yet horrific visuals, and convincingly acted by some
of the best in the business. The film is a favorite
so far among the onslaught of serious, end-of-year
Oscar contenders coming out of the gate before Dec.
DiCaprio gives one of the finest performances of his career
as Danny Archer, a South African mercenary doing a brisk
business in smuggling so-called "conflict" (or
"blood") diamonds out of Sierra Leone, ravaged
by the real-life 1999 bloody civil war between government
and rebel forces. His willingness to exploit the misery
of that African country's people for profit is shaken
when he meets Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou), a fisherman
whose family has been torn apart by the fighting.
has been forced to work in the diamond fields, his wife
and younger children ripped from him and sent to a refugee
camp, and his pre-teen son taken by the rebels, impressed
into soldiering, and turned into a ruthless child-animal,
a self-proclaimed "baby killer." Meanwhile,
Vandy has found—and hidden—a huge pink diamond
that Archer wants to sell to a big international diamond
company (a thinly veiled fictional version of De Beers),
whose agents are willing to clandestinely buy "blood"
gems from him on the black market.
an actor best known for his work in “Gladiator”
and his Oscar-nominated (and heartbreaking) turn in “In
America,” anchors “Blood Diamond” in
an emotional reality that makes the film by Edward Zwick
(“Glory,” “Courage Under Fire”)
much more than just a polemic on the problems faced by
many African nations that have resources (diamonds, oil,
etc.) coveted by richer, more developed nations.
“Blood Diamond” is a heady mix of brutal action,
wrenching emotion and political commentary. It’s
a powerful film with striking images that will stay with
you long after the lights go up and definitely the next
time you head into a jewelry store to purchase some bling.
(Updated 08/30/07 NJ)