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Blood Diamond Essay

1277 words - 6 pages

Throughout the world many communities, cities and countries yearn for safety and sustenance. For many lives at home means constant fear and days of hunger. The people of Sierra Leone lived through this reality from the later eighties through the early twenty first century. The film Blood Diamond is based on this politically volatile era in the history of Sierra Leone. Three places are of prominent importance in the film. In these places life changing decisions and choices are made. The significance of these palaces drives the characters to defy common human behavior, put their lives in extreme danger and seemingly achieve the impossible. Of great importance is a mining valley in the ...view middle of the document...

Consequently the mine field is a special target for government troops as they look to dent the rebel’s forces ability to get weapons. Thus the area is a tense fire-zone where bullets could start flying anytime. The tension in this site is strongly emphasized in the film. In all the instances where the mining site is shown in the story line, gunfire is sure to breakout. Enemies are sure to collide whenever we view this in the film.

Not surprisingly, there is no social integration between the different factions in the mine site. The enslaved men are treated roughly and often don’t have social ties with anyone else. The RUF soldiers are keen to remain intimidating so therefore don’t socialize with each other. The General is brutal and makes his point to the enslaved men by killing one of them in front of the others.

At the beginning of the film, this mining area is nothing more than any other mining field where tiny pieces of diamonds are unearthed once in a while. It takes on this special mysterious significance when Solomon Vandy, a local fisherman and one of the enslaved men finds a large and rare pink diamond and instead of giving it to the “master” as usual, buries it next to the mining site. The burial site is unknown to everyone but Solomon. This mysteriousness adds more tension and significance to the area. It gives the place an added value over and beyond an insurgency hotbed. Throughout the film several characters make it their quest to retreat the diamond from the burying site and are willing to commit heinous crimes to reach their goal. Time and time again we see characters willing to risk their life in order to have sole ownership of the prized diamond. It is at this site that Danny Archer, whose main purpose is smuggling “conflict diamonds” from Sierra Leone to neighboring Liberia, kills the government military leader who mentored him as a young soldier. This is also the site where Solomon kills the General - his capturer – who in addition to enslaving him earlier in the conflict, also enlisted and trained his son child to be a child soldier for the RUF. To illustrate the greed, this General had a few minutes prior to his death had a machete in his hand and Solomon on his knees keenly asking him to reveal the site.

In contrast to the mining site, Freetown is a lively city where the streets are overcrowded with businesses and shoppers. The place is presented as a multicultural environment where people of all walks of life can come together and trade. There are however signs of poverty as we see shanty towns and shops made of galvanized aluminum. Cultural integration is emphasized in the film. Danny has an African friend who owns a bar helping him with his business...

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