Thursday, 14 July 2011

Blood Diamond - A student's film review

My Geography film of the week this week was Blood Diamond - a film I had never previously watched but a family member suggested it might be of interest to me in relation to the Development and Globalisation module..... and they were right!

Blood Diamond is set during the explosive 1999 civil war in Sierra Leone and follows the story of the unlikely friendship that develops between an ex-mercenary turned smuggler, a Mende fisherman and a journalist who is trying to make the Western world aware of the dire situation in Sierra Leone. These people are forced to join together as they try to complete seperate, but all desperately dangerous, missions : recovering a rare pink diamond of immense value, rescuing the fishermen's son who has been conscripted as a child soldier into the brutal rebel forces and telling the story, to the rest of the world, of the origins of the diamonds that the comsumers in the developed world desire at the lowest possible price.


I don't want to give to much away about what happens in the film as I think it is one of those films that is intended to shock you!
Is it a good Geography film to watch? Definetly!!! This film covers numerous issues that I am sure are going to be raised as we continue to move through the Development and Globalisation module. You get an immediate insight into life in Sierra Leone - a country that alternates between times of peace and beauty and times of bloodshed. The film forces the issue of the diamond trade upon the watcher and makes them see the impacts that the desire of the developed world for affordable diamonds has on the people of exploited coutnries, like Sierra Leone. Afterall, without a consumer there would be no market for the trade of such goods. This made me think about lots of things but one thought that stuck in my mind was, what would the countries of Africa be like today if they didn't have the raw materials that the Western world wants to exploit? Would we have still colonialised the countries? Would we still ensure some sort of control/influence in them today? And so, essentially, how has their abundance of resources, such as rare earth minerals, influenced their development? One of the other issues that features throughout is that of the civil war and the impacts it has had on the country and its people. Unfortunately, children in many countries are still conscripted as child soldiers by rebel forces. Much of the civil war experienced throughout Africa is, arguably, an unintended, detrimental, side-effect of colonialism (this is rather a big topic so I will leave this for a future blog post!) and so, in preparation for our first essay when we go back; this is quite a good film to watch as an introduction to the topic. So,overall, I would recommend that you watch this film as it makes you think about quite a few key issues surrounding African development, influences of the developed world and the impact of colonialism.

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