Set during the Sierra Leone civil war of 1992-2002, the film, Blood Diamond, shows a country torn apart by the struggle between government soldiers and rebel forces.
The film tells the story of Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio), a South African mercenary and Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou), a local fisherman and a loving husband and father. Both men are African, but the their lives could not be more different.
During the civil war, Solomon is captured by the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and put to work as a diamond miner. During his work in the mines he one day recovers an enormous pink diamond. He hides it, hoping that he one day will be able to come back for it. Archer finds out about Solomon and the diamond, and he realizes that this could be his ticket out of Africa and the rough life he is living. Archer locates Solomon and offers to help him find his family, if he agrees to lead him to the diamond. A dramatic pursuit for this valuable diamond starts.
1. Find and watch a trailer of Blood Diamond on youtube.
- What is your first impression of Danny Archer and of Solomon Vandy?
- What information are you given about Sierra Leone?
2. Read the following article, What Are Blood Diamonds?, and find out:
- What are blood diamonds?
- What role did Charles Taylor and the RUF play in the trade of blood diamonds?
- What is the Kimberly process?
3. Before you watch the film, find out some basic facts about it:
- The title of film
- Production year
- Names of actors
- Name of director
Working with the Film
- Write a film analysis where you include the following:
- Introduction: a brief description of the issues that will be addressed in your text.
- Facts about the film: title, year of production, director, main actors, nationality, genre.
- Plot and main conflict: How are we introduced to the conflict in the film? Are the first few scenes important in that respect?
- Setting: Where and when does it take place?
- Main characters: Are they dynamic or static? Positive or negative? How are they portrayed? How well do the actors portray the characters?
- Climax: Which scene is the most important? How does this scene solve the main conflict in the film? Are there more than one climax?
- Is the film chronological? Are there any flash backs?
- Film technique: what can you say about camera angles, music, sound, special effects, symbols, colour and light / darkness… Do these things add to the film? In what way?
- What is the mood of the film?
- Theme: Does the film have a clear message?
- What is your opinion of the film. Make sure to give reasons for your view.
- You are working for an international magazine and you have been given the chance to interview one of the people below. Write the interview, than play it out with a partner.
- Salomon Vandy
- His son
- Danny Archer
- The commander in the diamond mine where Vandy worked
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