Blood Diamond
3/4
poster

Details & Information from IMDB

Genre Adventure
Year 2006
Duration 143 min
Rating 8.0 out of 10
Description: Set against the backdrop of civil war and chaos in 1990's Sierra Leone, Blood Diamond is the story of Danny Archer - an ex mercenary from Zimbabwe - and Solomon Vandy - a Mende fisherman. Both men are African, but their histories as different as any can be, until their fates become joined in a common quest to recover a rare pink diamond that can transform their lives. While in prison for smuggling, Archer learns that Solomon - who was taken from his family and forced to work in the diamond fields - has found and hidden the extraordinary rough stone. With the help of Maddy Bowen, an American journalist whose idealism is tempered by a deepening connection with Archer, the two men embark on a trek through rebel territory, a journey that could save Solomon's family and give Archer the second chance he thought he would never have.
Comments: I rate this a ten because I had the privilege of going to Sierra Leone after the war and participate in one of the war crimes trials there at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, created by the Sierra Leone government with the United Nations.

In a bit more than two and a half hours, the writers and directors have to tell the story of the civil war, keep it concise yet true, and tell it through the eyes of a few participants. Because the story line is so true, and the acting, writing, directing, locations, people, and photography are all superior, I must admit prejudice toward such a high rating. My local reviewer gave it a B+.

My exposure to the civil war and only some of the events of this movie were based on reading books, hundreds of witness statements, online material about the war, including the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Report, and listening to over 100 witnesses testify, and my trial was not even those of the RUF and AFRC, the really bad actors of the war, as the movie shows, pulling no punches. The accounts of atrocities are shockingly real. Tens of thousands had hands amputated, people were indiscriminately murdered, women raped or forced to marry, villages were burned, and children were kidnapped and forced to fight the war for both of the rebel factions (RUF and AFRC). Making a child a soldier is a war crime, and this movie artfully shows you why, without saying a word about it.

Sherman said, about our own Civil War, that "War is hell." But, African civil war is far different and atrocious because it inevitably leads to atrocities.

This fine work, with Hotel Rwanda, stands out as a film seriously attempting to explain the atrocities that Africans somehow can do to themselves.