This graphic depiction of Sierra Leone's recent civil war makes the link between the diamond on the finger of a North American newlywed and the limbs that were hacked off of thousands in Africa, indicating that things aren't always as far away as we wish them to be.

The systematic mutiliation carried out by the revolutionary soldiers of the "RUF" against the population of Sierra Leone is linked to the diamond companies in London who then manage the supply of the stone so that it seems more rare than it is.

The "revolutionaries" terrorize while listening to rap music and smoking pot, gathering a frontline of child soldiers who they indoctrinate to hate their parents and adults in general. What could be more scary than a bunch of drug-addled ten-year-old boys wielding machine guns?

An ironic moment comes when a survivor of a massacre says he wonders what would be happening to the country if they ever discovered oil. This is a welcome moment, because although the tragedy in Sierra Leone has ended, the implication is that comparable horrendous suffering has shifted to Iraq, and we could do something to stop it, if we could only stop buying oil.

On one level, Blood Diamond is a metaphor of what is still happening in the world as much as it is a description of what occurred. The movie begs the age-old question of what an individual can do in the face of such complex mixtures of cruelty and greed that we see in the film.

Then it answers the question by pointing in the direction of the pocketbook. Our buying power may a real way we can shift world events. It may be the only way. This movie provides ample inspiration to do just that.

On a scale of one to ten, I give it a nine. Playing at the Park and the Paramount.
Starring Leonardo Di Caprio, Jennifer Connelly, Djimon Hounsou, Michael Sheen, and Arnold Vosloo.

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