Monday, January 8, 2007

Blood Diamond

Posted by lea at 4:15 PM

Either my expectations were too low, or this move is really quite a decent flick. Apologies for sounding surprised, but I was a little turned off by its intensity and didn't expect Leonardo Di Caprio to bring credibility to another 'rape of Africa' movie. It has a plot (somewhat of a bonus these days - can you tell I just watched Marie Antoinette?), character development (a little obvious and clunky at times but at least it tried), a decent script, just enough romance without being corny, good action and it actually has a message (once again a counterpoint to Marie Antoinette). Although it's been criticised for being too didactic, I didn't find the movie too preachy. Having said that, will I ever buy a diamond? No. But not just because of this movie, I just can't see the big deal. Bling bling. So what?

At the end of the day, laissez-faire means we can buy anything we want from anywhere we want, but Blood Diamond aims to screw with our social consciences by showing what a little sparkle on our rich Western selves means to someone in Africa. There's a very poignant scene (yes it was calculated but which poignant scenes aren't?) where Solomon Vandy, a victim of the diamond bloodbath, stands outside a jeweller's shop window in London looking at a diamond necklace with the certain knowledge that entire villages of his people died so that some rich woman could wear this around her neck.

A friend pointed out: what makes conflict diamonds any different to sweatshop Nikes or ipods? Almost everything we wear or buy that comes from any poor country is guaranteed to have the sweat of an underpaid, third-world child marking it somehow. I guess the main difference is that they weren't killed for their labour. Treated unfairly? Yes. Paid dismally? Yes. But enslaved and killed? No. At least I bloody well hope not.

3 comments:

Glenda on January 10, 2007 at 12:02 PM said...

hmmmm i think i'll watch it tonite. do you even read these comments?

lea on January 11, 2007 at 12:56 PM said...

yes i read them! perhaps a little late but...

so did you like the movie?

snowdomes on January 15, 2007 at 1:31 PM said...

i agree, i don't see the big deal. but others (you know who i mean) are opposed to the way they're marketed - the diamond has become the socially must-have engagement rock by one company's efforts to sell more diamonds.

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