Blood Diamond (Single Disc) - (DVD)
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Victor, South Africa. 4 June 2014
The film is set in Sierra Leone in the 1990s and has three well-presented and well-played central characters: Solomon Vandy, a Mende fisherman (played by Djimon Hounsou, a handsome, beautifully built actor); Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio), a 31-year-old South African; and Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Connelly), a liberal journalist and war chaser, most recently in Bosnia.
Solomon's wife and daughter have found refuge from the civil war in a refugee camp in Guinea, his abducted 10-year-old son has been turned into a murderous boy soldier by the bloodthirsty revolutionary army and Solomon has been made to work as a slave in the rebels' illegal diamond mine. Danny is a self-styled soldier of fortune, who left Rhodesia as a child following the murder of his parents by Mugabe's guerrillas, served with the South African army in Angola, then became a mercenary and a diamond smuggler.
Maddy, newly arrived in Africa, is researching a big story on the illegal trade in diamonds found in conflict zones. Danny is after the eponymous, emblematic blood diamond, a gem the size of a bird's egg that Solomon has found and buried. Solomon needs Danny's help in recovering his dispersed family. Maddy sees that Danny can provide the evidence that links South Africa, Britain, the States, the Low Countries and India in the illicit diamond business.
Through this trio, the film touches on the chief issues in Africa - post-colonial instability, tribal warfare, commercial exploitation, the brutal conscription and indoctrination of boy soldiers, the indifference of the West to a blighted continent. Danny, as ruthless a killer as the revolutionaries, represents cynicism, shallow realism and the instinct and skill to survive. Gentle, idealistic Solomon stands for hope, peaceful resolution, the warmth of family life; his ambition is to see his son become a doctor. Maddy is there to be instructed, to have her liberal pieties tested and to be one of the agencies through which Danny is redeemed.
She's the audience for a lecture from Danny on the hopeless state of the continent and is introduced to the expression TIA (as the newcomer to the platoon in Saving Private Ryan is taught the acronym Fubar). It means 'This Is Africa', said with a resigned shrug, excusing everything, explaining nothing.
But the film has a romantic aspect and Zwick and his screenwriter Charles Leavitt are eager to show that Danny is as bound to Africa as Solomon is. In addition to the blood-tainted diamond, there is another symbol in the identification of blood with the continent's red soil. Danny's mentor, a mercenary colonel, uses this image of rootedness in a chat they have in a South African vineyard and the pay-off comes when blood and soil are mingled in a final scene that recalls the end of Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls.
Region 2 - Europe (except Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus), Middle East, Egypt, Japan, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Greenland, French Overseas departments and territories.