Cass and I went to see Blood Diamond this evening. It was a tossup between that and Casino Royale, but when she heard that the former starred Leonardo, she was significantly more excited about that than about seeing a new Bond who has apparently been referred to as “James Bland.” So Blood Diamond it was.
Violence and misery and hopelessness, oh my. While I’m still trying to digest all of the imagery that I just took in, I have to say that it was certainly one of the best movies I’ve seen in a while. *cough*gotchokedupeven*cough*. I’ve read enough about African-style civil war and conflict diamonds in the past to have an idea of what to expect, but I found myself simply stunned at points by the sheer brutality of the conflict. All I can say is that we in North America have no idea how soft we actually are. And while I realize that Sierra Leone has been relatively peaceful of late, one can’t say the same for Somalia and the Congo* (DRC) so the film’s core issues are still relevant.
Dramatization though it may be, the film’s central question is a challenging one. How can a man commit these sorts of atrocities against his brother – and by extension, how can we do things like this to anyone in the family that is humanity? I think I’d like to run with a simple idea from the movie, adapted for my own personal use: TIE. We’re born here, we die here – it’s a fucked up place, but maybe one day we’ll prove that we can make something better out of it (and ourselves in the process).
This is Earth.
* Note that cassiterite and coltan (columbite-tantalite) are both used in much the same way as diamonds, being sold illicitly to fund weapons and supplies for ongoing wars. Coltan apparently is used in capacitors and there is suggestion that Western consumer electronics may contain such “conflict goods.” Apparently other things are smuggled as well, such as timber. Still, nothing is so especially galling as diamonds, especially when you can get perfectly good man-made diamonds which are molecularly and chemically indistinguishable from “the real thing” by any means other than their sheer perfection.