This paper is a critical evaluation of the movie “Blood Diamond”. The movie is about how the global trade in diamonds from the African continent is fuelling wars and genocide among the local populace of the countries where the diamonds are found. The quest for diamonds is vicious and bloody and involves ruthless capture of territory by rival militias in a bid to find diamonds and sell them for a price that would justify their military campaigns.
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The movie revolves around a young mercenary who is working for some big names in the diamond industry and would do whatever it takes to find the one big one with which he can pay off his debts to his employers who are based in other countries. The movie portrays how the protagonist helps the militias by supplying them with guns and other lethal weapons in exchange for diamonds. As outlined above, diamonds in that part of the world are used as a method of barter.
To come to the critical review of the movie, the director does not necessarily use loaded language or biased commentary though the use of histrionics is very much evident. The director uses close-ups shots of the protagonist and a woman journalist to emphasise the human side of the mercenary. Further, the relationship between one of the Africans and his son is shown as the human angle to the story. There are plenty of arguments in the movie, though, whether any of that is one-sided or not is basically a matter of conjecture and depends on the point of view of the audience.
For instance, one of the scenes shows how a Christian missionary helps wounded child soldiers of the conflict lead a life away from the war zones. There is no overt attempt to put a spin on the actions of the missionary or to portray the conflict as a good versus evil kind of thing. More often, the movie shows the barbaric nature of the conflict as well as the human side of it.
There are no specific techniques that are employed to portray the characters in bad light though the militias are shown as not having any regard for human life or for empathizing with the suffering of others. Hence, it can be argued that from a critical perspective, the militias are shown in a dark way. Sometimes the scenes appear to be dramatic in the way the gun fights are shown with lots of action that makes the scene resemble a full scale war rather than a local conflict.
Of course, the director of the movie has mentioned in an interview that it is the violent nature of the conflict that is one of the reasons the movie was made so that western audiences can understand the human consequences of the diamonds that they covet. It can be said that there are some overly dramatic scenes, particularly, towards the end when the mercenary is shown as dying and makes a call to the journalist.
In conclusion, it is obvious that the director/ producer wanted to make an especially strong statement regarding the diamond trade and hence the movie contains scenes that seem made up but the fact remains that the underlying brutality is very much the case in the countries that are under what is known as the “resource curse” i.e. the way in which the local people suffer for having resources coveted by people around the world.
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