African Cinema-Blood Diamonds

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KENYATTA UNIVERSITY
SCHOOL OF VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS
DEPARTMENT OF THEATER ARTS AND FILM
UNIT NAME: KENYAN FILM
CODE: MTF 519 Paper title: Criticism and reviews of the film Blood Diamond

PAPER PRESENTED BY;
MICHAEL NJERU NYAGA
REG : M66/CE/22669/2010
To: Dr. S. M . Otieno
April 2012

Blood Diamond.
Introduction.
Film as a social medium is expected to narrative the narratives that emanate from within the environment we live in. Film has indeed been dedicated to telling the tale of man since it was born in 1895. The film Blood Diamond endeavours to tell to the world the story of post colonial Africa to highlight as it were the challenges that bedevil Africa. Many critics have complained that the world cinema is unfair to Africa because more often than not it portrays Africa negatively. On eighth December 2006 Blood Diamond added to the list of films about Africa done by non-Africans. When all is said and done about Africa as perceived through film the principal generalisation remains that; as long as art remains a tool to mirror the society, those reflected negatively albeit sincerely will more often than not complain. This paper takes a critical look at the film Blood Diamonds, it analyses the elements of film production and their overall impact in realising the objective of the production as a whole. It runs through general criticism to give the overview of the viewers’ reception. The narrative in the film is not unusual but the delivery of the narrative sometimes could create a different image from the one originally intended, on this note the paper evaluates the impact of cinematic tools used by the director to achieve this end.

Analysis of criticisms and review
Plot.
Blood Diamond is a 2006 political war thriller film directed by Edward Zwick the renowned director of The Great Samurai and written by Charles Leavitt. The film stars Leonardo Dicaprio, Jennifer Connelly and Djimon Hounsou. The music is done by James Newton Horward. The title refers to diamonds mined in African war zones and sold to finance conflicts thereby profiting warlords and diamond companies across the world. It is rated (R) for exhibiting strong violence and language and requires parental guidance (PG). The film was made by The Bedford Falls virtual studios and distributed by Warner Brother’s studios with an estimated budget of $100 million. The film runs for 143 min with an aspect ratio of 2,35:1. Blood Diamond is set during the Sierra Leone civil war in 1992-2002 and gives a breath taking panorama of a country torn apart by the struggle between government soldiers and rebel forces. It portrays many of the atrocities of the war such as rebels amputating people’s hands to discourage them from voting in upcoming elections. Africa was known as “The Dark continent” during the Victorian era, believed by Europeans to be a land where even the slightest trace of civilisation tends to collapse under madness and savagery. Such notion is amplified by Joseph Cornad , who in Heart of Africa took Africa as a land so free from moral restraints that no civility could stand from being pulverized by its darkness. Blood Diamond dating a hundred years after the Heart of Darkness presents a different view.( Ahumada 2009.) Although the film seems to faithfully support the convectional view of Africa as a place that forces its inhabitants into madness a closer examination shows the opposite of depicting Africa as the Dark Continent, the film actually rebuts the view. In the film Danny Archer (Leonardo Decaprio) a South African Mercenary and Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounson) a Mende fisherman are joined in a common quest to recover a rare pink diamond that can transform their lives. Through their tribulations the film portrays the chaos occasioned by civil war in...
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