Blood Diamond

  • Directors: Edward Zwick
  • Producers: Gillian Gorfil, Marshall Herskovitz, Graham King, Paula Weinstein, Edward Zwick
  • Writers: Charles Leavitt
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Djimon Hounsou, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly, Michael Sheen, Arnold Vosloo

Set during the Sierra Leone Civil War in 1999, the film shows a country torn apart by the struggle between government soldiers and rebel forces.[1] The film portrays many of the atrocities of that war, including the rebels’ amputation of people’s hands to discourage them from voting in upcoming elections.

The film begins with the capture of Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou), a Mende fisherman, by the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels when they invade the small Sierra Leonian village of Shenge. Separated from his family, Solomon is enslaved to work in the diamond fields under the command of a Warlord called Captain Poison (David Harewood) while his son Dia is conscripted into the rebel forces, the brainwashing eventually turning him into a hardened killer. The RUF use the diamonds to fund their war effort, often trading them directly for arms. While working in the RUF diamond fields as a forced laborer, Solomon finds a large, pink diamond inside a big, broken pipe in the diamond fields. Claiming that he must go to the toilet, Solomon hides the diamond between his toes to try and sneak it away to bury it. However, moments before government troops launch an attack, Captain Poison sees Solomon hiding the diamond. Captain Poison is injured in an attack by government forces before he can get the stone, and both he and Solomon are taken to prison in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone.

Solomon travels to London and, with the help of Bowen, he trades the diamond to Simmons for £2,000,000 and the reunification of his family, making the exchange as Solomon’s wife and children arrive via a Lear Jet at a London airport. Bowen, who secretly photographs the deal, later publishes a magazine piece exposing the trade in “conflict” or “blood” diamonds. The film ends with Solomon smiling at the photograph Maddy took of Archer earlier, now published in her magazine along with the complete story of their journey, before addressing a conference on blood diamonds in Kimberley, South Africa, describing his experiences. This refers to an actual meeting that took place in Kimberley in 2000 and led to the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, which seeks to certify the origin of diamonds in order to curb the trade in conflict diamonds.

Analyze This

  • Directors: Harold Ramis
  • Producers: Jane Rosenthal, Paula Weinstein
  • Writers: Kenneth Lonergan, Peter Tolan, George Gallo, Harold Ramis
  • Genres: Comedy, Crime
  • Actors: Robert De Niro, Billy Crystal, Lisa Kudrow, Chazz Palminteri, Joe Viterelli

The film opens with a montage of mob killings during a past mob war, and a discussion between feared mob boss Paul Vitti (De Niro) and his guardian, Dominic (Joe Rigano) about an upcoming mob meeting that will decide their future. Dominic warns Vitti to be aware of Primo Sindone, Vitti’s rival since their childhood, as he will probably try to kill him before the meeting. Before they can leave, they are attacked by rival gunmen, and the only survivors are Vitti, his bodyguard, Jelly and Jimmy, the driver. A distraught Vitti vows to avenge Dominic.

Meanwhile, a psychiatrist, Ben Sobel (Crystal), is facing his own problems: his son from his first marriage keeps listening to his sessions, his patients are not challenging enough, and his second wedding in Miami is coming soon. Sobel’s life turns completely upside down when he accidentally smashes into a car from behind while driving with his son. The car, it turns out, belongs to Paul Vitti. Jimmy angrily berates Sobel, but Jelly intervenes and takes the blame, despite Jimmy having to tape the trunk to the car (because there was someone bound and gagged in the trunk, narrowly escaping Sobel’s sight). Sobel nonetheless gives Jelly his card in case he changes his mind.

The film ends with Sobel visiting Vitti in Sing Sing prison. Vitti gratefully thanks Sobel for all the help he gave him, and once again tells him “You…you’re good, you…”. They bid farewell and part as Vitti is taken back to his cell by a guard.