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Blood Diamond (film)

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Blood Diamond (film)

Blood Diamond
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Edward Zwick
Produced by Marshall Herskovitz
Graham King
Paula Weinstein
Edward Zwick
Written by Charles Leavitt
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio
Jennifer Connelly
Djimon Hounsou
Michael Sheen
Arnold Vosloo
Music by James Newton Howard
Cinematography Eduardo Serra
Edited by Steven Rosenblum
Production
company
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release dates
  • December 8, 2006 (2006-12-08)
Running time 143 minutes
Country United States
Germany[1]
Language English
Mende
Krio
Afrikaans
Budget $100 million[2]
Box office $171,407,179[2][3]

Blood Diamond is a 2006 American-German political war thriller film co-produced and directed by Edward Zwick, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly and Djimon Hounsou.[4] The title refers to blood diamonds, which are diamonds mined in African war zones and sold to finance conflicts, and thereby profit warlords and diamond companies across the world.

Set during the Sierra Leone Civil War in 1996–2001, the film depicts a country torn apart by the struggle between government loyalists and insurgent forces.[5] It also portrays many of the atrocities of that war, including the rebels' amputation of people's hands to discourage them from voting in upcoming elections.

The film's ending, in which a conference is held concerning blood diamonds, refers to a historic meeting that took place in Kimberley, South Africa in 2000. It led to development of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, which sought to certify the origin of rough diamonds in order to curb the trade in conflict diamonds, but has since been mostly abandoned as ineffective.

The film received mixed but generally favorable reviews, with praise directed mainly to the performances of DiCaprio and Hounsou; they were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, respectively.

Plot

It is 1999 and Sierra Leone is ravaged by major political unrest. Rebel factions such as the Revolutionary United Front frequently terrorize the countryside, intimidating Mende locals and enslaving many to harvest diamonds, which fund their increasingly successful war effort. One such unfortunate is fisherman Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou) from Shenge, who has been assigned to a workforce overseen by Captain Poison (David Harewood), a ruthless warlord.

One morning Vandy discovers an enormous pink diamond in the riverbank and buries it in the soft earth. Captain Poison learns of the stone, but before he can follow up, the area is raided by government security forces. Both Vandy and Poison are incarcerated in Freetown, along with Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio), a white Rhodesian (Zimbabwean) gunrunner jailed while trying to smuggle diamonds into Liberia. These were intended for Rudolph van de Kaap (Marius Weyers), a corrupt South African mining executive.

Having managed to learn about the pink diamond, Archer arranges to have Vandy freed from detention. He travels to Cape Town, meeting with his former military contacts, including Colonel Coetzee (Arnold Vosloo), an Afrikaner formerly with the apartheid-era South African Defence Force. Coetzee now freelances with a private military firm. Archer says he wants to recover the diamond and use it to leave the Continent forever, but Coetzee counters with his claim, saying his lost stake in Archer's botched Liberian operation entitles him to the diamond as compensation. Archer returns to Sierra Leone, locates Vandy, and offers to help him find his family if he will recover the prize.

Meanwhile, RUF insurgents escalate hostilities. Freetown falls to their advance while Vandy's son Dia (Kagiso Kuypers) is among those rounded up to serve as a child soldier under a liberated Captain Poison. Archer and Vandy narrowly escape to Guinea, where they plan to infiltrate Kono with an American journalist, Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Connelly). They will give her inside information on the illicit diamond trade. Coetzee and his private army also turn up in the region, having been contracted by local authorities to repulse the renewed rebel offensive.

While Bowen gets out with her story, the two men set out for Captain Poison's former encampment. Dia, stationed with the RUF garrison there, is confronted, although he refuses to acknowledge his father. Archer radios the site's coordinates to Coetzee, who directs an air strike via an Mi-24 helicopter gunship. Vandy locates Captain Poison and beats him to death with a shovel while mercenaries attack and rout the warlord's surviving men. Coeztee forces a reluctant Vandy to produce the diamond, but is killed by Archer, who realizes Coeztee would have simply killed them both. Dia holds them both briefly at gunpoint, before Vandy renews their bond.

Archer discloses he has been mortally wounded. He entrusts the stone to Vandy, ordering him to take it for his family. Vandy and his son rendezvous with a charter pilot, Nabil (Jimi Mistry), who flies them to safety while Archer makes a final phone call to Maddy Bowen. He asks her to assist Vandy, and gives her consent to publish his revelations of the diamond trade, telling her, "It's a real story now." Maddy is upset when he tells her he cannot come to meet her. As he dies, he looks out onto the sunset, reassuring her. "That's alright. I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be." He dies peacefully, still in his African home.

Shortly afterward, Vandy, now living in England, meets with representatives of van de Kaap, who wants to buy his gem. Bowen photographs the deal for publication in her article detailing the trade in conflict gems, and exposes van de Kaap's criminal actions. Vandy appears as a guest speaker at a conference on "blood diamonds" in Kimberley and is met with a standing ovation.

Cast

Production

Leavitt was hired by [6] Leavitt researched the diamond industry to great lengths before he began writing the screenplay, explaining that he has "always been a stickler for immersing [himself] in research".[7] He wrote the film with the assumption that it would offend the diamond industry, particularly De Beers, and so made sure to portray the industry truthfully, aware that he could potentially be sued by De Beers and other powerful mining corporations.[7] Paula Weinstein was impressed by Leavitt's Blood Diamond draft, but hired writers Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz to rewrite the script again; by the time he had completed the script, Zwick had become so interested in the story that he agreed to direct the film as well.[8]

Release

Critical response

Leonardo DiCaprio's performance in the film was particularly praised by most of the critics.

Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 62% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 211 reviews, with an average score of 6.3/10, making the film a "fresh" on the website's rating system.[9] At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 64, based on 39 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[10] Claudia Puig of the USA Today gave the film a positive review, stating that "Blood Diamond is a gem in a season with lots of worthy movies." Puig also praised DiCaprio's acting and noting that "it is also the first time the boyish actor has truly seemed like a man on film."[11] Peter Rainer of the Christian Science Monitor also gave the film a positive review, he, like Puig, also praised DiCaprio's acting, stating: "As strong as Blood Diamond is in its best moments, I wish it had been even harder-edged. DiCaprio is remarkable - his work is almost on par with his performance this year in The Departed."[12]

William Arnold of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer gave the film a positive review, stating: "Zwick's narrative skills keep us hooked on the story, and the first-rate production values and imaginative use of locations (it was shot in Mozambique) give the film an enthralling scope and epic sweep."[13] Damon Wise of the Empire magazine gave the film four-stars-out-of-five, he stated: "Great performances, provocative ideas and gripping action scenes fall prey to Hollywood logic and pat storytelling in the final hour."[14] David Edelstein of the New York magazine also gave the film a positive review, stating: "Given that the movie doesn't have a single narrative surprise--you always know where it's going and why, commercially speaking, it's going there--it's amazing how good Blood Diamond is. I guess that's the surprise."[15] Ann Hornaday of the Washington Post also praised DiCaprio's acting, saying that he "who between this outing and The Departed has undergone a major growth spurt this year." About the film itself, she stated: "For its flaws, Blood Diamond is a gem, if only for being an unusually smart, engaged popcorn flick."[16]

James Berardinelli of the ReelViews gave the film three-out-of-four-stars, stating: "It's a solid performance from Leonardo DiCaprio, who has grown into this sort of "gritty" role and is more believable after having been seen dancing on the dark side in The Departed."[5] Dana Stevens of the Slate magazine is also among those who gave the film a positive review, she stated: "Blood Diamond is a by-the-numbers message picture, to be sure... But the director, Edward Zwick, is craftsman enough that the pace never slackens, the chase scenes thrill, and the battle scenes sicken. And if it makes viewers think twice about buying their sweethearts that hard-won hunk of ice for Christmas, so much the better."[17] Ty Burr of the Boston Globe, after giving the film a positive review, stated: "As an entry in the advocacy-entertainment genre, in which glamorous movie stars bring our attention to the plight of the less fortunate, Blood Diamond is superior to 2003's ridiculous Beyond Borders while looking strident and obvious next to last year's The Constant Gardener.[18]

Pete Vonder Haar of the [23]

Box office performance

Blood Diamond opened on December 8, 2006 in the United States and Canada in 1,910 theaters.[2] The film ranked at #5 on its opening weekend, accumulating $8,648,324, with a per theater average of $4,527.[24] The film's five-day gross was $10,383,962.[25]

The film dropped down to #7 on its second weekend, accumulating $6,517,471 in a 24.6% drop from its first weekend, and per theater average of $3,412.[26] By its third weekend it dropped down even more to #12 and made $3,126,379, $1,628 per theater average.[27]

Blood Diamond went on to gross $57,377,916 in the United States and Canada and $114,029,263 overseas. In total, the film has grossed $171,407,179 worldwide.[2]

Accolades

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipients and nominees Result
79th Academy Awards[28] February 25, 2007 Best Actor Leonardo DiCaprio Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Djimon Hounsou Nominated
Best Film Editing Steven Rosenblum Nominated
Best Sound Mixing Andy Nelson, Anna Behlmer, Ivan Sharrock Nominated
Best Sound Editing Lon Bender Nominated
Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards 2006 January 14, 2007 Best Actor Leonardo DiCaprio Nominated
Best Film Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Djimon Hounsou Nominated
64th Golden Globe Awards January 15, 2007 Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama Leonardo DiCaprio Nominated
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards 2006 December 18, 2006 Best Supporting Actor Djimon Hounsou Won
National Board of Review Awards 2006 December 6, 2006 Best Supporting Actor Djimon Hounsou Won
Satellite Awards 2006 December 18, 2006 Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama Leonardo DiCaprio Nominated
13th Screen Actors Guild Awards January 28, 2007 Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role Leonardo DiCaprio Nominated
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role Djimon Hounsou Nominated
Teen Choice Awards 2007 Choice Movie Actor – Drama Leonardo DiCaprio (Also for The Departed) Nominated
Visual Effects Society Awards 2006 February 12, 2007 Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Motion Picture Jeffrey A. Okun, Thomas Boland, Tim Crosbie, Neil Greenberg Nominated
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards 2006 December 11, 2006 Best Supporting Actor Djimon Hounsou Won

Music

Blood Diamond: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Film score by James Newton Howard
Released December 19, 2006
Recorded 2006
Genre Contemporary classical
Length 61:26
Label Varèse Sarabande
Producer James Newton Howard
James Newton Howard chronology
Lady in the Water Blood Diamond The Lookout
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
SoundtrackNet 3.5/5 stars

Blood Diamond: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is the soundtrack to the film of the same name, released on December 19, 2006 by Varèse Sarabande. It was composed by James Newton Howard, and won the "Soundtrack of the Year" at the 2008 Classical BRIT Awards.

Track listing

No. Title Length
1. "Blood Diamond Titles"   1:32
2. "Crossing the Bridge"   1:41
3. "Village Attack"   1:52
4. "RUF Kidnaps Dia"   3:02
5. "Archer & Solomon Hike"   1:55
6. "Maddy & Archer"   1:56
7. "Solomon Finds Family"   2:09
8. "Fall of Freetown"   4:45
9. "Did You Bury It?"   1:36
10. "Archer Sells Diamond"   1:40
11. "Goodbyes"   2:40
12. "Your Son is Gone"   1:21
13. "Diamond Mine Bombed"   4:31
14. "Solomon's Helping Hand"   1:11
15. "G8 Conference"   2:36
16. "Solomon & Archer Escape"   2:12
17. "I Can Carry You"   1:30
18. "Your Mother Loves You"   2:24
19. "Thought I'd Never Call?"   3:56
20. "London"   2:38
21. "Solomon Vandy"   2:11
22. "Ankala" (Performed by Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars) 4:12
23. "Baai" (Performed by Emmanuel Jal with Abd El Gadir Salim) 4:37
24. "When Da Dawgs Come Out to Play" (Performed by Bai Burea, featuring Masta Kent and Bullet Rhymes) 3:19
Total length:
61:26

Home media

Blood Diamond was released on DVD in region 1 format on March 20, 2007.[29] Both a single-disc and a two-disc version are available.[30][31] High Definition versions on HD DVD and Blu-ray have also been released with a R rating in the United States and a rating of MA in Australia.

The film sold 3,620,038 DVD units and grossed $62,723,329.[29]

References

  1. ^ "Blood Diamond Details and Credits". Metacritic. Retrieved 2014-01-27. 
  2. ^ a b c d (2007)"Blood Diamond". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved September 7, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Blood Diamond". The-Numbers.com. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved September 7, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Blood Diamond"Full cast and crew for . IMDb. Amazon.com. Retrieved September 7, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Berardinelli, James (2007). "Blood Diamond"Review: . ReelViews.net. Retrieved December 27, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b Dunkley, Cathy (24 February 2004). "WB leaving 'Okavango' to Leavitt".  
  7. ^ a b Faye, Denis (2006). Scribe"Diamond".  
  8. ^ Brodesser, Claude (28 June 2005). "'"WB polishes 'Diamond.  
  9. ^ "Blood Diamond". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved January 1, 2011. 
  10. ^ "Blood Diamond". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 26, 2010. 
  11. ^ Puig, Claudia (December 7, 2006). shines forth"Blood Diamond". USAToday.com. Gannett Co. Inc. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  12. ^ Rainer, Peter (December 8, 2006). "Star-studded, flawed diamond". CSMonitor.com. Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  13. ^ Arnold, William (December 7, 2006). is a multicarat message movie"Blood Diamond". SeattlePI.com. Hearst Communications Inc. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  14. ^ Wise, Damon. "Blood Diamond". EmpireOnline.com. Bauer Consumer Media. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  15. ^ Edelstein, David (December 3, 2006). "They Cut Glass. And Hands.". NYMag.com. New York Media LLC. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  16. ^ Hornaday, Ann (December 8, 2006). "Blood Diamond". WashingtonPost.com. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  17. ^ Stevens, Dana (December 8, 2006). "Trading Spaces". Slate.com. The Slate Group, LLC. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  18. ^ Burr, Ty (December 8, 2006). Diamond' trades on action and star appeal"'". Boston.com. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  19. ^ Vonder Haar, Pete (2006). "Blood Diamond". FilmThread.com. Hamster Stampede LLC. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  20. ^ Savlov, Marc (December 8, 2006). "Blood Diamond". AustinChronicle.com. Austin Chronicle Corp. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  21. ^ Lee, Nathan (November 28, 2006). "Say It with Diamonds?". Vollage Voice. Village Voice, LLC. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  22. ^ Tobias, Scott (December 7, 2006). "Blood Diamond". AVClub.com. Onion Inc. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  23. ^ LaSalle, Mick (December 8, 2006). "Romancing the enormous conflict diamond". SFGate.com. Hearst Communications Inc. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for December 8–10". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved September 7, 2012. 
  25. ^ "Daily Box Office Results for December 12". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved September 7, 2012. 
  26. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for December 15–17". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved September 7, 2012. 
  27. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for December 22–24". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved September 7, 2012. 
  28. ^ "The 79th Academy Awards Nominees and Winners". Oscars.org. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  29. ^ a b – DVD Sales"Blood Diamond". The-Numbers.com. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  30. ^ [DVD] [2007]"Blood Diamond". Amazon.com. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 
  31. ^ (Two-Disc Special Edition) (2007)"Blood Diamond". Amazon.com. Retrieved September 9, 2012. 

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