Watching Blood Diamond makes the heart beat fast, fills the eyes with sadness, anger and hope, and pushes brain’s activity to the max. One thousand questions come in and out, the most reccurent one being: what’s a blood diamond’s worth ?
The first scene of Edward Zwick’s Blood Diamond is crystal clear : the massacres committed during Sierra Leone’s civil war are not going to be watered-down. The Revolutionary United Front (Ruf) rebels suddenly arrives in a village. Inhabitants start screaming, children are crying. Everybody tries to flee but the rifles of the soldiers shoot without any discrimination. Those who survive are given a terrible choice : “Short sleeves or long sleeves ?”, asks a rebel to a young boy petrified with scare, before giving the order to chop his hands off.
Then comes the turn Solomon Vandy, played by Djimon Hounsou, who was the leading role in Steven Spielberg’s Amistad. The fisherman declines to answer the dreadful question but he will keep his hands and his arms safe. His physical appearance caught the eye of the rebels chief : he sees in Solomon a man who can dig to find diamonds. The diamonds enable the Ruf to buy weapons and wage the war against the gouvernement of Freetown, since the nickname given to these gems : blood diamonds.
When Solomon Vandy comes to find a big pink diamond, a series of events makes his secret known by several people, of whom former mercenary Danny Archer, played by Leonardo di Caprio. From that moment on, the story focuses on what this specific blood diamond could do for the best or the worst. For the best, Solomon Vandy hopes it will help him get his family back and Danny Archer expects he will be able to leave Africa. But there is absolutely no certainty on if these aims will be reached.
What is certain is that people suffered, people lied, people manipulated, people died because of this diamond. These are the damages for just for one diamond. A big diamond, it is true. But one cannot help thinking of all human sacrifices made for blood diamonds, some of which are bought by some diamond industries who thus indirectly finance the butchery. Among the first victims of such wars are child soldiers, whose childhood was stolen by rebels who brain-washed and drugged them so that they can kill innocents. Conclusion : blood diamonds have two prices. They are worth money on the market and human lives and/or liberty in countries using them to get weapons.