Synopsis: Blood Diamond

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The world is going to hell. The world is always going to hell, soldier of fortune and diamond smuggler Danny Archer notes, well, archly in Blood Diamond -- no need to concern oneself overly about it; best to make the best of it you can and get out while the gettin's good... and gettin' out doesn't necessarily mean for the long term. Danny is not a man worried about the future. Cigarettes, another character informs the chain-smoking Archer, will kill ya. "Yeah," he snarks. "If I survive." There are a lot of reasons to be enthralled by Blood Diamond, Edward Zwick's new action-drama-with-a-conscience: the deeply disturbing story he tells, for one, about how American consumer demand for diamonds and European colonialism drive and support horrifying civil strife in impoverished Africa is one that comparatively few people are aware of, and will be appalled to learn. I'd like to think that Jennifer Connelly's (Dark Water, House of Sand and Fog) activist American journalist character is right here: I'd like to think that if more American brides knew that someone had to lose a hand, or a child, or a home, or a village, or a life so they could have the diamonds for their fairy-tale weddings, far fewer American brides would want those diamonds. It remains to be seen whether even a movie this powerful can change enough minds -- this one certainly is unsettling enough that it might have a chance. The sequences of the indoctrination of children, the sickening brainwashing they are put through in order to turn them into soldiers-- nay, killing machines for sadistic rebel militias that pay for their weapons with diamonds mined by slaves and smuggled out of conflicts zones are positively haunting. The plot of Blood Diamond -- revolving around an escaped slave miner (a passionate Djimon Hounsou: The Island, Beauty Shop) who has hidden from his masters a ridiculously valuable pink diamond he discovered, meaning to use it to pay to recover his disappeared family -- is fictional. But...
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