A war for the possession of diamond fields, thousands of deaths and millions of refugees… These are exactly the words that summarize the movie. The movie “Blood Diamond”, which shows the persistence of the things we consume from the point of view of those who produce them, is a 2006 US production in the adventure/drama category. The film stars Djimon Hounsou as Solomon, Jennifer Connelly as American journalist Maddy Bowen and Leonardo Dicaprio as Danny Archer, a soldier working for the Colonel.
The movie begins with Soloman Vandy, a fisherman living with his family in Sierra Leone, who is separated from his family and children due to the turmoil in his country. Because this African land seems to have two areas of conflict: the government and the anti-government group RUF.
The RUF is an armed organization that refuses to accept the government’s policies and carries out its hegemony illegally, burning and destroying the places it enters and raising soldiers from the children they recruit. Solomon and his family’s life changes when this organization enters Sierra Leone. The RUF recruits Solomon’s son Dia as a soldier. Solomon is separated from his family when he is taken into the field to search for diamonds. Although the movie progresses with Solomon’s struggle to search for his family and save his son, it is a movie to watch and think about as it sheds light on the conditions of the African country and the smuggling and bullying in the search for minerals.
Solomon hides a very large and valuable diamond that he finds during diamond prospecting. Danny learns that Solomon has hidden a valuable diamond and promises to help him find his family in exchange for the diamond. Solomon and Danyy’s journey begins for this reason, but what Danny encounters during the journey pushes him to question more. Of course, journalist Maddy Bowen plays a big role in this situation. Maddy asks for Danny’s help in order to publicize the exploitation taking place in Africa and to expose the people who are responsible for it. Because she knows that Danny is close to the Colonel and works with companies that want to own diamonds. Although Danny does not accept this at first, he is getting closer to the reality of the slogan “diamond equals death”. In fact, we understand that Danyy is aware of everything from the following dialog with the Colonel:
-It looks like the rebels have taken back the diamond fields, Danny. The government of Sierra Leone has intervened and made a deal with us to bring the rebels down.
-You sell weapons to the rebels and the government hires you to stop them using them. That’s good, sir. I suppose you want mining concessions, too?
-We’re saving the government, Danny. They’re showing their gratitude.
-You’re getting rich, aren’t you?
This dialog is one of the most thought-provoking parts of the movie. Because all the attempts by the government and the rebel terrorist organization to own the mining areas are similar. It’s not the people and their labor that they want to save, it’s not the country and children that they want to protect. The whole reason is just the mine. This is the only reason why the two sides are fighting against each other… Because both the government and the RUF say they are fighting for the people by burning and destroying.
Solomon, Maddy and Danny see many things along the way. Solomon is the most surprised by what he sees. When he talks to Danny, he expresses his surprise with the following words:
“I understand that white people want our diamonds, but how can my own people do this to each other?”
In the later scenes of the movie, the scene that gives us the most pause is when Solomon looks at a diamond necklace in front of a jeweler. It is precisely this scene that we need to think about. People’s arms can be cut off in a country because of a diamond that someone will put on their finger. Children can be separated from their families and brainwashed to death. Moreover, the people who suffer these ordeals can never benefit from the wealth of this country and never see these diamonds. “Blood Diamond” is a successful production that needs to be thought about consumption and tells this consumption through diamonds and the African country.
At the end of the movie, there are the following explanations with data:
“In January 2003, forty countries signed the ‘Kimberley Process’, an attempt to stop the flow of conflict diamonds. But illegal diamonds still find their way into the market. A diamond’s non-conflict status depends on the persistence of the consumer. Peace has come to Sierra Leone. In Africa, there are still 200,000 child soldiers.”