[Marxism] blood diamonds
deeseekyou at comcast.net
Sun Dec 10 00:24:58 MST 2006
On Dec 9, 2006, at 10:23 PM, gregory meyerson wrote:
> does anyone know of any marxist analyses of blood diamonds, etc?
Just read the readily available liberal ones and toss out the
> I just saw the movie blood diamond, which I hated about as much as
> mike yates hated the departed.
My wife and I just saw the movie as well. I thought it was pretty
powerful actually. The movie is artistically marred by Zwick's
mainstream liberal values, and you're right about the love-interest
subplot being out-of-place. But, then again, he wouldn't have made the
movie without those same politics. I have no idea what you are talking
about with respect to "the corporations" looking good. The diamond firm
in the movie is a stand in for the whole lot. No others were mentioned
as far as I could tell. The movie does go a tad overboard with the
demonization of the rebels (this is actually done literally with the
rebels dancing around fires and breathing smoke). But while the
government troops come off slightly better, they are still shown
callously gunning down civilians. Moreover, it is made clear that the
government is in bed with the diamond corporations and their racist
for-profit white militias. But the context for the civil strife is
clear: control of the diamond fields for export to Western markets, at
a price determined by the Western corporations. Whatever real
historical details the movie ignored, the message was unavoidable: this
is the fault of the west, not of Africans. How you came to the
conclusion that the corporations "save the day" is a mystery to me.
Solomon's "black skin" comment is a wonderful scene delivered very
powerfully by Hounsou, and it is a rejection of racism, not an
internalization of it.
And the little scene in which the old man--almost the last survivor in
his village after a battle--comments that "I hope they don't find oil
in our country because then we'd really be in trouble" was brilliant.
The connections between Iraq and Sierra Leone, between imperialism,
racism, and capitalism in Africa and the Middle East and the West's
responsibility for causing all of it, were made in one simple joke that
made the entire audience erupt in laughter.
It's not a perfect movie by any means. As mentioned, the movie is a tad
self-indulgent in demonizing the rebels and creating a "bad guy"
character, the love-story is insulting, and the UN-assembly was a poor
choice for a resolution (it's hard to imagine anyone getting really
emotional at any UN event) and the end titles proclaiming "Sierra Leone
is at peace" and pimping the Kimberley Process undermined the strength
and urgency of the movie. But Hounsou's performance was top-notch,
Connelly was very good as well, and DiCaprio gave his best performance
since The Basketball Diaries. Moreover, anything that can make people
squirm and think when they see obnoxious holiday ads urging them to
spend obscene amounts of money on pieces of stone and glass has gotta
be a good thing.
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