Blood Diamond
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A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Blood Diamond can be found here.

An African native, Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou), captured by the RUF and forced to pan for diamonds, finds a large pink diamond. He hides it in his toe and buries it. Later, he meets up with diamond trader Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio), who sees the diamond as his passage out of Africa. Together, Danny and Solomon attempt to dig up the diamond and sell it, but Danny doesn't count on the fact that Solomon is more concerned about the fate of his family than he is about the diamond.

No. Blood Diamond is based on a script by American screenwriter Charles Leavitt, who reworked an earlier script titled Okavango. Leavitt's script was subsequently reworked by writers Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz.

What is the RUF?

RUF stands for Revolutionary United Front, a rebel group in Sierra Leone that was supported for a time by the corrupt government of Liberia. They were known for their brutality, which allowed them tactical gains against the poorly-prepared government forces. They did not appear to have any real political agenda, at first just taking advantage of popular discontent with the government, then simply using revolutionary slogans with empty meaning to justify their deeds. The RUF as a military force is gone today, having been defeated after Britain and Guinea intervened militarily in 2001, ending the Sierra Leone Civil War. A very small political party is all that remains of the RUF today. Much of the RUF actions in this movie are based on real-life reports of RUF acts, including the enlistment and drugging of child soldiers, and mass amputations of hands.

"Blood diamond" aka 'conflict diamond', refers to a diamond typically mined in Africa and sold in order to finance an insurgency, an invading army's war efforts, or to support a warlord's activity.

Who does Danny work for?

Danny is a freelance middleman who provides diamonds to Colonel Coetzee (Arnold Vosloo), his former commander in 32 Battalion, the most decorated unit of the South African Border War. In return, Coetzee, who works for the South African diamond company Van de Kaap, supplies Danny with government issue arms to trade for the diamonds. It's Danny's job to obtain the diamonds and smuggle them across the border into Liberia where they can be legally exported.

He speaks Afrikaans, a language derived from Dutch and widely spoken in South Africa.

It is a Rhodesian accent, or Southern African. It is different to the South African accent, like the New Zealand and Australian accents are different. Rhodesia, now known as Zimbabwe, has a small white population who have their own accent, which is often confused with the white South African accent.

They speak Krio, a Sierra Leone creole language based on a mixture of Nigerian and English languages. Archer also uses milder versions of this when speaking to other Sierra Leoneans, including when he first meets Vandy.

The Kimberley Process is an international agreement to stem the trade of conflict (blood) diamonds being sold by illegitimate rebel groups. It requires all diamonds to come with government certificates proving that the diamonds were mined in that country and are not benefiting rebel armies. The majority of diamond-producing or consuming countries (a total of 71) are members of the Kimberley Process.

Kaffir (also kaffer or kafir) is an ethnic or racial slur used against black southern Africans. It is from the Arabic word "kafir," meaning "heathen or non-believer." It was used by the Arabs to describe black Africans when they first ventured into Northern Africa.

Solomon was offered 2 million for it. Solomon's diamond doesn't look a whole lot smaller than the Hope diamond, which today is valued at nearly $250,000,000. However, the Hope diamond is a rare deep-blue diamond, even more rare than Solomon's pink diamond, and it is cut and polished. Whether Solomon's diamond will remain as one large stone or several smaller ones will largely depend on the flaws in the structure. All of these considerations...size, color, and cut...will determine the ultimate value of the diamond. A pink diamond, such as Solomon's diamond, in the rough is likely well worth 2 million. For Solomon, however, no diamond is worth the lives of his wife and children.

How does the movie end?

As Solomon is digging up the diamond, Danny realizes that Coetzee intends to kill them anyway. A gunfight breaks out, and Danny kills Coetzee and two of his soldiers, but Coetzee manages to shoot Danny in the ribs. At first, Dia (Kagiso Kuypers) plays the good soldier by holding his father at gunpoint, but Solomon reminds him that he is a good boy and assures him that his family is waiting for him. The three of them attempt to make it to the rendezvous point, with Solomon having to carry Danny part of the way, but it becomes obvious to Danny that he's dying. He gives the diamond back to Solomon, gives him Maddy Bowen's (Jennifer Connelly) card, and tells him to take his boy home. Suddenly, they are ambushed by more of Coetzee's men. Solomon and Dia make a run for it while Danny stays behind to hold them off with an assault rifle. Barely able to breathe, Danny phones Maddy and asks her to help Solomon. Maddy begins to cry when she realizes that Danny is dying and offers to come and get him, but Danny tells her that he's where he's supposed to be. He holds up a handful of soil mixed with his own blood and lets it sift through his fingers. Then he collapses. Solomon and Maddy make it to London, where Solomon meets with Rupert Simmons (Michael Sheen), who offers him 2 million for it. 'It's not enough,' Solomon replies and says that he'll hand over the diamond when his family is brought to London. Maddy secretly photographs their exchange. Some days later, Solomon's family arrives in London, and Solomon hands over the diamond to Simmons in exchange for the 2 million. Maddy publishes an article titled 'Blood Diamonds: A Trail of Terror from the Jungles to the Jeweller's' in which she exposes Van de Kaap and the Tiara Diamond Company. The rare pink diamond is filed away in a locker. In the final scene, Solomon is the speaker at a conference in Kimberley, South Africa, in which he's giving a talk about the exploitation of Africa. When he enters the meeting hall, he receives a standing ovation.

Viewers who have seen Blood Diamond recommend watching Blood Diamonds (2006), a documentary about the exploitation of Africa for its diamonds. The documentary can be watched online for free here. Other movies that deal with the quest for diamonds in Africa include Congo (1995) and Lord of War (2005). Movies that are set in Africa (but don't necessarily deal with conflict diamonds) include The Ghost and the Darkness (1996), based on the true story of two lions in Africa that killed 130 people over a nine month period, and Out of Africa (1985), in which a Danish baroness buys a plantation in 20th century colonial Kenya. In The Constant Gardener, the wife of an English diplomat working in Kenya is murdered. Hotel Rwanda (2004) tells the true story about a hotel manager who housed over a thousand Tutsi refugees during their struggle against the Hutu militia in Rwanda. Two movies that describe the plight of Africans being torn from their home and sent abroad to work as slaves include Amistad (1997) and the miniseries 'Roots' (1977).

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