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Look out for more coverage of
Blood Diamond in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Blood Diamond

THE STARS:
Leonardo DiCaprio • Djimon Hounsou • Jennifer Connelly
DIRECTOR: Edward Zwick

Danny Archer  (Leonardo DiCAPRIO) and Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou) THE CONCEPT:
Set against the backdrop of the civil war that enveloped Sierra Leone in the 1990s. Two Africans, Danny Archer (DiCaprio), an ex-Mercenery from Zimbabwe, and Soloman Vandy (Hounsou), a fisherman, are on a common quest to recover a rare pink diamond, one with the intent of getting off the continent, the other to get his family back.

U.S. RELEASE: December 8 2006, Nationwide
• Rated: R

THE COMMENTS:

LEONARDO DiCAPRIO on whether he anticipated the ferocity of the response of the international diamond industry to this film:
“I didn’t anticipate it no, but these are things that are based on real events and we are depicting a time in recent history where diamonds resulted in a lot of civil unrest in these countries.”

EDWARD ZWICK:
“I had known a bit of what had happened in [Sierra Leone] but the access that one gains, [as a film-maker], from experts is such a remarkable opportunity, and it became an odyssey to me. I met victims and victimizers, smugglers, mercenaries, traders and politicians.”

DJIMON HOUNSOU:
“This was the most powerful human story I have ever heard anyone be involved in. Reading Blood Diamond I realized it wasn’t so much about the blood diamond, it was about so many other issues in Africa; child soldiers, refugees, the displacement of millions of people throughout the continent. Being an African, and being in Hollywood making movies, these are the kind of stories I love to take on to bring more awareness to it in the world.”

DiCAPRIO:
“This was such a powerful character, and a powerful storyline. I wasn’t personally going out seeking films with a social and political message to do it for the sake of doing it. It has to be a good movie and it has to convey a message without the audience feeling they are being preached to, and I really felt this script accomplished that.”

JENNIFER CONNELLY (Maddy Bowen, a journalist):
”I loved Maddy’s spirit, her enthusiasm, her dedication, her unflinching commitment to her work and to trying to accomplish something good, but also her absolute zest and love of life, new experiences and adventure. I met a number of women who had actually been in Sierra Leone at the time writing stories on the conflict diamond, and I got all the information I possibly could from them.”

DiCAPRIO:
“Djimon’s character is really the heart and soul of the movie, the story of a man trying to find his son, and the intensity he gives in his performance is electrifying. He’s quite a brilliant actor.”

HOUNSOU:
“Hopefully Leo will be a forever friend. Being African I can only embrace the guy who comes trying to better or bring awareness about my continent. I found out that he stood up for me when somebody threatened to shoot me at a place in South Africa. He said, ‘You are going to have to go through me, because I know this guy and I’m sure he didn’t do anything wrong to you.’ To this day, we can’t find out why [he wanted to shoot me].”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Blood Diamond site
Images above © Warner Bros Pictures
Feature © 2006 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #678, January 2007 cover

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