• Long on Violence Short on Understanding, December 22, 2006 New York Times Movie Reviews RReviewer: multiling.
    Blood Diamond shocks the viewer with scenes of senseless carnage but offers no insight into the sad and tragic civil war in Sierra Leone.The poor West African country has endured centuries of enslavement and exploitation by European whites (the Portuguese, the Spanish,the British) and corrupt African officials. When insurrection broke out in 1991, the RUF had a valid and just cause. The country was mired in abject poverty and misery while outsiders (including the local Lebanese)pillaged its rich natural resources. While the RUF were soon corrupted by their ceaseless quest to control the diamond trade and their brutal tactics to achieve political power, the film’s simplistic portrayal of them as violent drug-crazed thugs and robot-like child soldiers completely excludes the legitimacy of their original cause. Of equal importance and a central contradiction within the film itself is its duplicitous presentation of the so-called Kimberly Process, which seeks to trace raw diamonds from discovery down through the marketing process, in order to ban so-called “blood diamonds” used to finance African insurrections. How convenient for the diamond cartel that seeks to maintain high world prices by restricting supply! The Kimberly Process offers little to the poor and dispossessed majority of Sierra Leoneans and does nothing to respond to their developmental needs.

    Eugene Harkins, author Where Witch Birds Fly, A novel on the civil war in Sierra Leone

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