A diamond smuggler agrees to help a fisherman save his family from
rebels in exchange for a large priceless diamond that many are after.
Blood Diamond (2006)
Directed by Edward Zwick
Written by Charles Leavitt
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou, Jennifer Connelly, Kagiso Kuypers, Arnold Vosloo, Michael Sheen, David Harewood
Oscar Nominations - Best Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio),
Best Supporting Actor (Djimon Hounsou), Best Film Editing,
Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing
Blood Diamond is an intensely powerful film that uses a fictional story to shine a light on the very real illegal conflict diamond trade in Sierra Leone and other African nations. This film does not hold back in its depiction of child soldiers, diamond mining slaves, and the white businessmen who keep the whole thing going for their benefit. Led by flawless performances from Leonardo DiCaprio and Djimon Hounsou, Blood Diamond is an eye-opening film that never wavers.
DiCaprio plays diamond smuggler Danny Archer, a selfish mercenary who learns about a giant diamond that was discovered and hidden by fisherman Solomon Vandy (Hounsou), who lost his family to the rebels in the process. In exchange for helping him find his family, Solomon agrees to give the diamond to Archer. What follows is a journey through wartorn Sierra Leone that creates a bond between the two men, especially when Solomon discovers that his son has been brainwashed by the rebels. The story does not go the way you think it's going to, and I think that's its greatest strength. Plus, it's always cool to see Arnold Vosloo as a bad guy, and I have a newfound respect for David Harewood, who plays a truly terrifying rebel leader.
This film wowed me in such an unexpected way. I'd heard great things for years, but after watching it myself, I was stunned by the amazing performances, the horrific subject matter, and the humanizing story that refuses to sugarcoat a very real nightmare happening in the world on a daily basis. Blood Diamond needs to be watched for that alone, if nothing else.