Contemporary World History
5 December 2007
A Long Way Gone vs. Blood Diamond
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier and the recent 2006 film Blood Diamond both depict how it was living in Sierra Leone, Africa during the Civil War in the ‘90’s. While A Long Way Gone focuses on child soldiers and what they had to live and go through for many years, Blood Diamond focuses mainly on how the country is torn apart by the struggle between government soldiers and rebel forces. The film portrays many of the atrocities of that war, including the rebels' amputation of people's hands to stop them from voting in upcoming elections. Both the movie and the book try to tackle major issues by asking the questions: how did the rebels and the government gain support, what is the price and impact of way on men, women, children and society.
The question addressed by Blood Diamond and A Long Way Gone is that of how the rebels and the government gained the support of the people. This brings up the major issue of child soldiers in Africa, as it is an important topic in both the book and the movie. Blood Diamond and A Long Way Gone both explore this issue, but Blood Diamond shows boys soldiers on the side of the RUF while A Long Way Gone shows them on the side of the national army. Blood Diamond shows how the RUF recruited soldiers, especially young boys. The RUF gained support by force, attacking villages and enslaving the men and boys they captured. The film begins with the capture of Solomon Vandy, a Mende fisherman, by the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels. Separated from his family, Solomon is enslaved to work in the diamond fields under the command of Captain Poison. The RUF use the diamonds to fund their war effort, often trading them directly for arms. Solomon’s son Dia Vandy is later captured by the RUF and forced to fight for them. They brainwash him by blindfolding him and making him kill people he does not know. They also...