Monday, January 15, 2007

blood diamond

rating: 11 of 17

my roommate didn't bother to see this movie. he said that one diamond can never be that valuable. he then told me about diamond cutting and a fiery natural gas leak somewhere in the deserts of africa. after speaking with my roommate, i headed to the cinema and found that in addition to being fictitious, the diamond that propels the plot in blood diamond is pink but not sparkley. it looked like something you might find in my mom's rock collection. nonetheless, this stupid stone (and lesser pebble-like dia
monds) sent characters careening across the screen with shovels, machetes, and machine guns. blood diamond reinforces this growing sense that despite my tendency to read big books or react to the world in a spirit of open-mindedness, i'm still an ignorant helpless american. i'm not a cnn-junkie or an activist--i had no idea that diamonds fueled death raids in sierra leone during the '90s. i hardly know how to spell sierra leone.

in the midst of it's ceaseless cruelty, blood diamond attempts to communicate hope and empowerment, but i walked away from the film in a psychiatric state of paralysis. films like blood diamond, hotel rwanda, and schindler's list make me feel helpless. i'm over here and they (substitute the victims of nearly any bloody current event) are over there. and there are too many over theres. perhaps i can deal with here--if that fictitious pink rock were my mother's and portland, a blood bath, yes, then i'd cry, take a side, demand justice--but how is a clueless english major to save the world?

really, it'd be much better if the world were on fire because of a natural gas leak. then i might have a chance. my roommate tells me that copper tools and explosives work best.

you can see other reviews on the left column of the blog. the 17 point scale reviews are marked by an exclamation mark (!). here's a link to a real review (christianity today):
11.blood diamond - brutal, bloody
and an addendum to this post:

andrew david. "smiling cause we're happy" somewhere in canada.


Anonymous said...

You should listen to more hip hop music. Then you would've known about the diamond industry :)

andrew said...

hip hop, eh? i feel like there's the seed of a sociological study in your comment. are hip hoppers more internationally conscious than indie rockers? and if we were to compare the lyrics of these two genres, would one convey social awareness and response more fiercely than the other? our study would also require focus groups (thankfully, i have experience as a moderator) to determine whether either set of fans digested lyrics more thoughtfully.

in my limited exposure to hip hop, i'd say that i tend to tune out the lyrics. this true of other genres too, but i am more conscious of this with hip hop. it may be conditioned. i tend to censor hip hop lyrics and i have this preconceived notion that i respond more to indie rock, so i naturally ignore hip hop lyrics. thus, perhaps it takes the visceral violence of movies like BLOOD DIAMOND rather than some hip hop groove for me get the picture.