Wednesday, December 13, 2006



The outbreak of war, corruption and mismanagement in the diamond sector is one of the main reasons why Sierra Leone became the poorest country in the world. With the breakdown of all state structures, complemented by the effective suppression of all civilian opposition, wide corridors of Sierra Leonean society were opened up to the trafficking of arms and ammunitions. Drugs also eroded national/regional security and facilitated crime within the country, precipitating illegal trade with both Liberia and Guinea.

The Revolutionary United Frontier (RUF) was a rebel army that fought a failed ten-year insurrection in Sierra Leona starting in 1991. The RUF was rather unusual in that it had no true ideology outside of discontent and opposition to the current Sierra Leone government. When it began, it put forward the slogan, "No More Slaves, No More Masters. Power and Wealth to the People." While its goal was clearly to overthrow the government of Sierra Leone, the RUF gave little indication of what sort of government would replace it.

In fact these so-called freedom-fighting rebel forces were nothing but bloodthirsty sociopaths who storm into village after village, executing the women and the weaker, smaller men, sending the stronger men to slave work camps and "recruiting" boys of 12 to join the revolution.

For years the white diamond was considered the world's most beautiful diamond, until the discovery of the Argyle mine in Australia which heralded the arrival of the “Argyle pink diamond”. Pink diamonds are also found in India, Brazil and Africa and are characteristically light in colour. Pink diamonds with no secondary colouring are the rarest and most expensive of all pink diamonds.

Djimon Hounsou: Solomon Vandy, a fisherman in the Mende tribe
Kagiso Kuypers: his son Dia
Leonardo DiCaprio: "soldier of fortune" Danny Archer
Jennifer Connelly: American journalist Maddy Brown
Arnold Vosloo: South African army Colonel Coetzee

Apart from being way too long (almost 2½ hours) this is a movie with a lot going for it: excellent performances throughout, a good story line, fast-paced action and great cinematography.

It also looks and sounds very realistic to the point those of us who are somewhat squeamish have to look away during some of the scenes.

for strong violence and language.

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