Now, let’s take a look at Blood Diamond, starring Djimon Honsou (The Island), Leonard DiCaprio (The Departed), and Jennifer Connelly. This film was truly amazing. It tells the haunting story of a man named Solomon Vandy, forced to mine for diamonds. He has been literally torn from his family by rebels who use the diamonds to finance a civil war in Sierra Leone. They have kidnapped his son and forced him into combat. Rebels, the African government, and large diamond retailers are all in bed with one another for the sake of profit, and the consequences are shockingly savage. Enter DiCaprio as Danny Archer, an opportunistic smuggler. Solomon knows the location of a 15-carat pink diamond which he has hidden in hopes of bartering for the safe reunion of his family. Archer, who must deliver diamonds to his “employer,” needs the gem to stay alive. Now the two are in a race to recover the diamond without being killed in the process, becoming reluctant and unlikely allies. DiCaprio and Honsou turn in brilliant performances, and their scenes are truly captivating. DiCaprio’s role is layered and complex, as his character shows vulnerable humanity one minute, and callous viciousness the next.
Blood Diamond is a movie which cannot be done justice by mere words. Before I can describe the movie any further, let me pose a question or two. What is human suffering? What does it mean to feel pain? I’m sure we all have our personal answers and thoughts. Perhaps it is the death of a loved one, like a spouse, child, or parent. Perhaps it is surviving a crime, or a debilitating illness. All of these answers are valid, and who am I to question the things that make another person suffer? I say all that to say this: Blood Diamond made me rethink my concept of pain and suffering. I sit in my little corner of the world with no idea about the shit that happens on planet Earth. Blood Diamond isn’t just a movie; it is a fictionalized portrayal of REAL events. The characters are subjected to unspeakable horrors, all in the name of the almighty dollar. It raises questions about human nature and the forces that drive us all. For Archer, it is greed. For Solomon, it is the unconditional love of a father for his child. Blood Diamond is not a pretty movie, it is the type of movie that serves as a mirror — hold it up and you might not like the face staring back at you.