[Marxism] blood diamonds

gregory meyerson gmeyerson at triad.rr.com
Sun Dec 10 12:20:43 MST 2006


>
hey: thanks for the reply.  I am referring to the spokesman who opens 
the film during a G 8 Meeting (it is the G 8), and opens the UN session 
in kimberly SA (thus invoking the kimberly process).    I wasn't 
talking about archer.  I do think archer dies a hero.  but you're right 
that he may be considering abandoning solomon and dia at end (it's left 
ambiguous).  and if it were left to him, the son would have been blown 
up with the rest when the white mercenaries (are they mercenaries?) are 
called in (when he insists, wrongly, the son isn't down in the camp, 
what are we supposed to think?)  to blow up the rebel camp.  he is a 
very interesting and complex character.  I don't think he's quite a  
brutal racist (there is the great scene where he calls solomon a 
"kaffir," the only time he uses a racist term--I'm sorry I don't have 
time to go into complexities of the scene; then the scene where he 
describes fighting side by side with black soldiers against the 
"communists.")  he's brutal and cynical and scarred--his parents are 
horribly slaughtered by ...? mugabe's forces?


when I said I hated the movie, I was over the top.  what I meant in 
fact was that its power (it is undeniably powerful--though some of the 
connelly scenes threatened to destroy even that for me) was ultimately 
serving as an alibi for good corporations and the kimberly process.  I 
didn't mean I thought it a lousy film aesthetically (should have made 
this clear because mike y hated everything about the departed).

that movie I actually liked, though after reading the walsh review (?), 
I modified my opinion somewhat.  I thought the dialogue there was 
filled with energy, sick, demented and hilarious.  it "made" me less 
critical of movie as a whole than I ordinarily would have been.


This list has like 10 different conversations going on at once.  like 
the background chatter in an altman film.

g



>> what did you think of this guy? and what did you think we were 
>> supposed to think about him?  I thought he was largely valorized.
>
> He was a tragic character. It is important to note that the movie 
> resists the easy, simplistic "buddy-movie" cliches. Danny Archer 
> (whose name kept reminding me of Archer-Daniels-Midland, but that's 
> probably just me) is a brutal racist, and he is obviously only helping 
> Solomon out of self interest. Even at the very end, while conflicted, 
> it is pretty obvious that Danny is seriously considering leaving 
> Solomon to die and rob him of the diamond. This is only averted by his 
> own death. The final image of Danny dying is not one of heroism, but 
> one of a wasted life, partially redeemed.
>
>> I thought the acting was great--hounsou and di caprio: but I thought 
>> ultimately in the service of the good corporations of the kimberly 
>> process.  you do see a good corporations/bad corporations dualism, 
>> right?  cause that's certainly how the movie is being read 
>> officially: like by the oprah show when she had all the stars on it.  
>> this glorification of kimberly process is pretty important part of 
>> selling of movie. reminded me of the way the sullivan principles, 
>> also voluntary, were meant to let corps off hook.
>
> It sounds like your problem is more with Oprah. I haven't seen any of 
> the discussion of this movie, on Oprah or otherwise (I'm proud to say 
> I've never watched an episode of Oprah in my life...much to the shock 
> and horror of my fellow teachers). I'm just reacting to what I saw.
>
>> as far as solomon's speech, yes, it's powerfully delivered.  the key 
>> question is what's the relation of the comment to movie as a whole? 
>> the relation is supposed to suggest anti racism for sure.  but the 
>> heart of darkness portrait of the rebel group bothered me, not 
>> because the movie distorts the horrible facts about them.  the group 
>> reminds me a bit of how the khmer rouge are portrayed in that old 
>> movie with sam waterson:  like a metaphysical embodiment of 
>> nightmare.  we didn't even learn the connection between charles 
>> taylor and the RUF.
>
> Yes. The movie goes a bit over the top with its imagery here, as I 
> mentioned. But I don't think it's as bad as a "Heart of Darkness" type 
> depiction. It tries to provide a material explanation for how (some) 
> people come to be this way. And no, the movie doesn't get into the 
> details of the history of the RUF or Charles Taylor. What it does say 
> is: "Hey. Look at this big political mess in Sierra Leone. And it all 
> the fault of Westerners." I'm fine with that.
>
>> as you note: sierra leone is at peace.  what is the inference?  
>> kimberly process worked.  corps saved the day.
>
> Yeah. The end titles were a bit insulting. But, like the clapping 
> scene, the titles were both aesthetically and politically ineffective. 
> But on the whole, I think the movie is an opening for our side to 
> indict the imperialist profit system, much more than it is an 
> opportunity for diamond corps to sell more pretty glass. The diamond 
> corps are probably hoping more people see Casino Royale than Blood 
> Diamond.
>
>> I don't trust my own interp since I didn't take notes at film and saw 
>> it only once.
>
> I don't want to get carried away defending the film. I had issues with 
> it. But on the whole I thought it was well done (particularly the 
> acting, art direction, and cinematography--even the heavy-handed 
> scenes with the rebels were well done). And I think it was  a good 
> thing for people fighting for global justice against profit and war 
> and imperialism. It wasn't perfect...but hey, that gives us something 
> to talk about over beers after a rally. Right?
>
>
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