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Blood Diamond [HD DVD]  [US Import]
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Leonardo DiCaprio puts a handsome face on an ugly industry: In parts of Africa, diamond mining fuels civil warfare, killing thousands of innocents and drafting preteen children as vicious soldiers. DiCaprio (The Departed) plays Danny Archer, a white African soldier-turned-diamond-smuggler who gets wind of a large raw jewel found by Solomon Vandy, a native fisherman (Djimon Hounsou, In America) recently escaped from enslavement by a brutal rebel leader. Archer offers a deal: He'll help Vandy find his war-scattered family if Vandy will share the diamond with him. Drawn into this web of exploitation is journalist Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Connelly, Little Children), who agrees to help if Archer will tell her the details of how conflict diamonds make their way into the hands of the corporations who sell them to the Western world. DiCaprio is compelling because he never flinches from Archer's utter ruthlessness; Archer ends up doing the morally justifiable thing, but only because his desperate greed has led him to it. Hounsou and Connelly, though saddled with all the moral and political speeches, rise above the cant and keep the movie's treacherously formulaic plot rooted in human characters. But in the end, the story won't stick with you as much as the dead stillness in the child soldiers' eyes; the horror of African civil strife refuses to be contained by Blood Diamond's uplifting message--and the movie is all the more potent as a result. --Bret Fetzer --This text refers to an alternate HD DVD edition.See all Product description
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A reviewer in the Guardian talked about white people stepping in to save the day - and I disagree! (Having grown up in 'Rhodesia') Archer is a classic home grown boy doing the best he can where life has taken him. Immensely practical and pragmatic. No self pity: 'Boo hoo right?'. A sort of simplicity and honesty also. Amazing that LdC captured the whole (and that accent) so 'effortlessly'.
Djimon Hounsou and the young guy who plays his son are just amazing. Jennifer Connelly too.
Viewing the Blood Diamonds documentary on Youtube you see how the edges of this story have been smoothed a little for 'art's sake.
But it plays well - the whole scenario: I believed it.
(Except 'there's no apartheid in a foxhole': that is pragmatism and team work, need of the moment stuff: doesn't have to alter the undelying hierarchy - Danny Archer was still racist at the start of this film - kaffir/munt and at the end it isn't clear if he had had a choice what choice he would have made really! He was divided in himself by the end and the extremity made pragmatic action necessary and so 'easy' - he'd only got to half each by himself and I'm not sure he was clearer than that... but there is a generosity in the boer heart aswell as the african one - perhaps they would willingly have shared the diamond too)
My eyes were completely glued to the screen, I cry as I write this still thinking about how it ended. It's opened my eyes to the unbelievable way people live out there.
Soloman and Danny were both brilliant actors. Leonardo is a complete legend.
Unbelievably horrific things are depicted in this film – made worse because they are things that actually happened during this conflict in the late 1990s. David Harewood’s aptly named Sierra Leonean Warlord Captain Poison provides a monstrous bogieman for Vandy, while Arnold Vosloo plays Danny’s old army pal Colonel Coetzee, now working freelance and keen for Danny to cut him in on the diamond action.
Edward Zwick’s epic and ambitious film never really scales the heights it aspires to, however it remains a brutally honest and unflinchingly violent depiction of mans’ continuing appetite for beauty – and destruction.
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also can be watched multiple times without getting boring !