Thursday, January 04, 2007

Blood Diamond: The Bloodied Soil Of Africa

It was a fantastic movie, to say the very least. The poverty, the need for survival, the smuggling of natural resources to fund wars, the civil wars between brothers, the rich country made poor, the father who never gave up on his son, the same old story line; only a different setting, a different cast, a different twist.

The year was late 1990s, set against the backdrop of civil war and chaos in Sierra Leone. Danny Archer, a South African mercenary; and Solomon Vandy, a Mende fisherman; are joined in a common quest to recover a rare pink diamond, for different intentions. With the help of Maddy Bowen, an American journalist whose idealism is tempered by a deepening connection with Archer, the two men embark on a trek through rebel territory - a journey that could save Solomon’s family and give Archer the freedom he thought he would never have.

I thought all 3 leads were great in their roles: DiCaprio with his Krio speaking tongue - a Sierra Leone Creole based on a mixture of Nigerian and English languages, and convincing acting (confirmed out of his post-Titanic heartthrob image!); Djimon Hounsou for his wonderful portrayal of a down to earth, family-loving African father who is tough yet humble (his body build is amazing! O_O hehe) and witty even! And the beautiful Jennifer Connelly who looks so good yet so real on-screen and she delivered a plausible acting as a hard cookie too.

I must say, the movie can be quite gory and disturbing what with the blood shedding and killing; young male children were shown being thrust with guns and brainwashed with drugs, and taught to kill. You see them holding weapons shooting away, all the while with colourful school bags hung to their back, and they were told that all this killing is being a man and that they were doing it for the country. Can you imagine that, can you imagine your young child being taught to operate guns and kill civilians? It was unsettling. But real.

A quick search on the net and you will find the movie was actually creating somewhat of an uproar in the diamond industry. The De Beers Corp expressed their reservations that the film will reduce public demand for diamonds. But fact remains that they were, indeed, precious lives mindlessly killed to feed the (diamond) hungry market. While watching the movie, I suddenly remembered a statement made by an ex colleague, who happens to be a she, that an engagement ring must be the equivalent of the proposer’s 3 month-salary (note the usage of “must”).

And I recalled during the period of preparing for my wedding, I did a lot of research on the net on wedding related websites, I noticed how almost every woman put so much of attention on the cuts and weights and prices of their wedding and engagement rings, it was sad. Of course at that time, my focus was more on let the ring be symbolic to the unity of a man and a woman instead of the value of the bling itself (and I was being ignored when I made that comment in their forums, like, totally. -_- Heh.)

But of course not the entire industry is filled with blood diamonds, or what we called, conflict diamonds. If you insist on diamond to prove your love for each other, the least you can do is find out and insist on the authenticity of the stone. Alternatively, you always have the choice of synthetic diamonds. It all depends on you, really. Its cliché, I know, but you as the consumer can really, really make a difference! So be wise.

Movie will be released on the 18th of January 2007, go catch it!


Terence said...

Jennifer Connely is using a black taped Leica M6 in this movie. Did you spot it?

Leishia J said...

ohmygosh! u don't say! she is using a black taped Leica M6! hehehe

i wouldnt know lah chong! me dumb dumb, me know no! but actually, now that u mention it, i do remember the camera that she's holding the whole time. so thats a Leica! ahh sooo! :)