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'Blood Diamond' Must See Movie

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 4:54 pm    Post subject: 'Blood Diamond' Must See Movie Reply with quote

ActivistChat Recommends to See the 'Blood Diamond' which tells of a bond between an ex-mercenary from Zimbabwe (DiCaprio), who smuggles diamonds out of war-torn Sierra Leone in the late 1990s, and a poor fisherman (Djimon Hounsou) whose son is kidnapped by rebels and trained to kill. and Please Make Your Comments In This Thread:


Blood Diamond (film)
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Blood Diamond


Promotional Poster
Directed by Edward Zwick
Produced by Gillian Gorfil,
Marshall Herskovitz,
Graham King,
Paula Weinstein,
Edward Zwick
Written by Charles Leavitt
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio,
Jennifer Connelly,
Djimon Hounsou,
Michael Sheen,
Arnold Vosloo
Music by James Newton Howard
Cinematography Eduardo Serra
Editing by Steven Rosenblum
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date(s) December 8, 2006
Country USA
Language English,Mende,Krio
All Movie Guide profile
IMDb profile
For diamonds mined in war zones, see Blood diamond.
Blood Diamond is a 2006 film by Edward Zwick, the Academy Award-winning director of Glory and The Last Samurai. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly and Djimon Hounsou. The title refers to "blood diamonds", which are usually mined in war zones and are sold to finance the conflicts.

Contents [hide]
1 Plot
2 Trivia
3 Cast
4 Controversies
5 Location filming
6 Reviews
7 See also
8 References
9 External links

[edit] Plot
Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.
Set in 1999 in Sierra Leone, a time of chaos and civil war, Blood Diamond is the story of Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio) – a Zimbabwean mercenary – and Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou) – a Mende fisherman. Both men are African, but their histories are as different as any can be, until their fates become joined in a common quest to recover a priceless diamond which can transform their lives. While in prison for smuggling, Archer meets Solomon, who was torn from his family and forced to toil in the diamond fields. There, Archer learns that Solomon found and has hidden the extraordinary rough stone. With the help of Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Connelly), an American journalist whose idealism is tempered by a deepening connection with Archer, the two men go on a dangerous journey through rebel territory, a journey which could save Solomon's family and give Archer the second chance he thought he would never have.

Spoilers end here.

[edit] Trivia
In a famous line from the film, one that was often used in TV spots and trailers, Danny Archer says "You know, in America it's Bling bling. Down here it's bling bang." However, the term "Bling bling" was not popularized until well after 2001, at least two years after this film is set, in 1999.

[edit] Cast
Actor Role
Leonardo DiCaprio Danny Archer
Djimon Hounsou Solomon Vandy
Jennifer Connelly Maddy Bowen
Michael Sheen Simmons
Arnold Vosloo Colonel Coetzee

[edit] Controversies
De Beers Group, which controls the vast majority of the diamond trade, has expressed reservations the film will reduce public demand for diamonds. De Beers maintains the trade in conflict diamonds has been reduced from 4% to 1% by the Kimberley Process and it has been suggested the company pushed for the film to contain a disclaimer saying the events are fictional and in the past.[1] De Beers has denied this.

More recently, the New York Post has reported Warner Bros. Pictures promised twenty-seven child and teenage amputee extras for the film prosthetics upon completion of filming. Several month after the completion of filming, the prosthetics had not been supplied, and it was reported the studio told amputees they would wait until the December release of the film to maximize the publicity boost. In the meantime a private charity had to step-in and assist in supplying prosthetics to the amputees.[2]

Teaser poster for Blood Diamond.These allegations were countered by an article in L.A. Weekly where it was stated that Warner Bros. did not promise twenty-seven children and teenage amputees prosthetics, but that the cast and crew raised between $200,000 to $400,000 to begin the "Blood Diamond Fund" which was then matched by Warner Bros. and "administered by a Maputo-based international accountancy firm under the supervision of Laws and João Ribeiro, the production managers in Mozambique."[1]

The film comes in the midst of an upsurge in public awareness of the conflict diamond trade, also highlighted in the media by rapper Kanye West in his song "Diamonds from Sierra Leone", a VH1 documentary about current conditions in Sierra Leone called "Bling", and a nonfiction expose called "The Heartless Stone".

[edit] Location filming
The film was shot on several locations in Africa such as South Africa's East Coast and Cape Town. Other parts were filmed in Maputo as well as other parts of Mozambique. [2]

[edit] Reviews
Michael Medved gave Blood Diamond three and a half stars (out of four) calling the film "..formidable..". Medved added that the "..acting is consistently superb.." and that the film is an example of "..outstanding storytelling."[3]

[edit] See also
Conflict diamond

Last edited by cyrus on Tue Dec 12, 2006 7:38 pm; edited 5 times in total
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 6:10 pm    Post subject: 'Blood Diamond' Has a Point , but Who Will Listen? Reply with quote

'Blood Diamond' Has a Point, but Who Will Listen?
LOS ANGELES—The message in new movie Blood Diamond is clear: know the history of a precious gem before buying it. But whether moviegoers pay attention to this "message movie" is a big question for the film's makers.

From the early days of Hollywood, writers, directors and producers have cranked out films that addressed social or political issues, including 1915's controversial The Birth of a Nation and 1967's Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, both of which dealt—in vastly different ways—with race in the United States.

This year is no exception with films like Flags of our Fathers commenting on war and politics while the United States is at war and Man of the Year, satirizing U.S. elections.

But the box office record for major studio movies with social or political agendas is mixed, so generally speaking, major studios shy away from them.

Flags has earned only $33 million since its October debut as people did not want to consider its anti-war themes while troops fought in Iraq. Man of the Year, released ahead of the recent U.S. elections, earned only about $37 million.

"Hollywood's studios only deal with a problem when it's safe to deal with that problem," said Howard Suber, author of The Power of Film and a professor at the University of California Los Angeles.

As a result, message movies are mostly made by independent filmmakers, as was this year's global warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth. It earned $24 million at U.S. box offices and became the No. 3 documentary of its kind by luring environmentally conscious audiences more than mass markets.

Message films that do win big audiences and major studio backers often center on lesser known topics or are released well after controversies were addressed by governments or other institutions. Such is the case with Blood Diamond.

Buyer Be Aware
The movie, which debuts on Dec. 8, is at first an adventure thriller with a big-name star, Leonardo DiCaprio, who can lure mass audiences. But the movie does not hide the fact that its chief villains are "conflict diamonds," which are illegally mined gems whose profits buy guns and fuel wars.

Blood Diamond tells of a bond between an ex-mercenary from Zimbabwe (DiCaprio), who smuggles diamonds out of war-torn Sierra Leone in the late 1990s, and a poor fisherman (Djimon Hounsou) whose son is kidnapped by rebels and trained to kill.

DiCaprio and director Ed Zwick told reporters they don't want to harm the industry so much as make people aware of checking whether a gem was mined legally. If not, don't buy.

"(People) have to use their best judgment and ask the right questions because ultimately diamonds are a source of economic stability in Africa," DiCaprio said.

Indeed, Africa generates around $8.4 billion worth of diamonds each year, and the industry employs about 10 million people globally, according to the World Diamond Council.

While conflict diamonds are still a problem, the United Nations-backed Kimberley Process in 2003 has helped reduce their numbers, and now the industry claims that more than 99 percent of all diamonds comes from conflict-free sources.

A council spokesman said attention to the movie has helped it focus people on improvements in the trade, and others noted a recent "KP Plenary" strengthened the Kimberley Process.

Government and industry involvement helped make a movie like Blood Diamond more comfortable to back for a Hollywood studio like Warner Bros., which is distributing the movie.

Similarly, Suber noted Guess Who's Coming to Dinner was a memorable movie about U.S. race relations in large part because it came out after the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited discrimination in public places and integrated schools.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 12, 2006 6:17 pm    Post subject: Blood diamonds: Miners risk lives for chance at riches Reply with quote

Blood diamonds: Miners risk lives for chance at riches
POSTED: 1:33 p.m. EST, December 12, 2006
More on CNN TV: Correspondent Jeff Koinange examines Africa's diamond mines and the men and boys who work in them. Tune in to "AC 360°," tonight at 10 ET.

By Jeff Koinange


Adjust font size:
MBUJI-MAYI, Democratic Republic of the Congo (CNN) -- At a bend in a tributary of the mighty Congo River, dirt-poor villagers feverishly pan for the shiny stones that have proved as elusive as they are rare -- diamonds.

Hundreds stake their claims here hoping to strike it rich in this, the fourth-largest diamond-producing country in the world. Officials say that last year, diamond exports from the Congo grew to $2 billion, nearly one-fifth of the country's gross domestic product.

But what these villagers don't know -- or hardly care about -- is the fact these are some of the precious stones that have, according to experts, indirectly fueled some of Africa's dirtiest wars from Sierra Leone to Liberia and from Angola to Congo. They're known as conflict diamonds or, more bluntly, blood diamonds. And in this corner of the Congo, men and boys constantly mine, hoping to find a way out of poverty.

To get to Congo's diamond district, visitors fly to Mbuji-Mayi at the center of this vast nation, then drive for about 90 minutes on dirt roads until they arrive at Dipumba.

Once a village, the entire landscape is now pockmarked with holes the size of water wells, holes that a man can barely squeeze into.

But squeeze they do, and villagers like 40-year old Jean Pierre Mbenga and his five-man team arrive at daybreak. Their tools are simple -- an old pick, a simple rope, a torn sack. They don't have shoes, gloves, hard hats or flashlights.

Mbenga makes his way down into the tiny well. The mine shafts are deep, dark, cold and very dangerous. The walls are unsecured. Accidents are frequent and many miners have been buried alive in these pits.

Yet Mbenga knows he has to keep digging. He has a wife and eight hungry children at home, including a two-week-old son.

"It's terrible here," he says. "All we do is work from morning to evening and most of the time we come up empty. I can't think of a worse way to make a living."

But many here don't have a choice. Work is hard to come by and many are tired of fighting in the various militias that roam these badlands. These men and boys want to make an honest living.

But to them it just seems that the poor seem poorer than ever.

Mbenga, who's been digging for diamonds for more than two decades, says he once dug up a one-carat stone that he sold for $500.

He thought he had finally struck it rich, but by the time he divided the earnings among his team and paid the man who leased the land where he digs, he had less than $50 left.

"That's the life of a miner here," he says, "We work and work until our hands bleed and all we end up with is peanuts."

I ask Mbenga who buys his diamonds.

"Anyone," he says, "just as long as they have the money."

And that's exactly the problem.

Legitimate diamond sellers and activists have argued to change the system for the past decade. They want to curtail the illicit sale of diamonds to unscrupulous middlemen and, in some cases, militia warlords who use the diamonds in exchange for arms to fuel Africa's endemic civil wars.

It happened in Sierra Leone in the 1990s, where as many as 200,000 people were reportedly killed and many others had their limbs hacked off by rebels determined to take control of the country's rich diamond deposits.

Sierra Leone is the setting for the new movie "Blood Diamond." Leonardo DiCaprio plays a crooked Zimbabwean ex-mercenary who searches for a rare pink diamond. (The film was produced by Warner Bros. Pictures, which like CNN.com is owned by Time Warner.)

It's a movie that should stir controversy about just how careful the precious gem industry has been in making sure diamonds are bought and sold legally.

In the Congo, a country that has seen its fair share of civil wars and where corruption and mismanagement are rife, it's hardly conceivable that diamond sales can be fully monitored, when lawlessness and a frontier mentality are prevalent in cities like Mbuji-Mayi.

Most of Congo's diamonds are exported through a state-run company, but in a country that was overrun by one dictator after another for more than 40 years, experts say that getting diamonds out of the Congo illegally has been an-all-too-common occurrence.

That has fueled war, coups and more war, leaving many Congolese poor and desperate.

On this day, Mbenga finds nothing and on his way home he buys his family the only thing he can -- a tiny loaf of bread. He knows he has to go back down into the shaft first thing tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that.

He is determined to find wealth down there no matter the cost, human and otherwise, or how long it takes.
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