Blood Diamond : Why Fiction is More Effective Than the Facts

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Blood Diamond: Why Fiction is More Effective Than the Facts

When watching a movie that is allegedly based on a true story, it may not occur to some viewers that the movie does not necessarily represent the complete and absolute truth. The movie Blood Diamond was inspired by the true story of how the illegal sale of smuggled diamonds helped fuel the 1991 to 2000 civil war in Sierra Leone (“Sierra Leone”). In an interview with Foreign Policy Magazine, Edward Zwick, director of Blood Diamond, admits that “my first goal was to make a good movie, one that fulfills the obligations of any story, which has to do with characters and drama.” It is true that Blood Diamond uses glamorized fiction to cover up and sweeten the horrible truths for
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As for the part of the audience that does not care about social issues, Blood Diamond is still an entertaining movie to watch. Although a cynic (or realist) might argue that the major duty of a major Hollywood film like Blood Diamond is to make money, such issue-oriented films also are intended to prove a point to their audiences. Blood Diamond’s fiction may well persuade concerned audience members to use their purchasing power to act on their moral principles. That may mean diamonds are not so much of “a girl’s best friend” as they used to be, or even that diamonds may no longer “be forever.” In Blood Diamond, the beautiful Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Connelly) is both a glamorous representation of the American media and the leading man’s love interest. The film implies that American media played a heroic role in ending the civil war in Sierra Leone. In reality, there was little or no American media present throughout the whole war. The earliest American article relating to the topic, written by Howard W. French and entitled “FREETOWN JOURNAL: In Sierra Leone, Darkness, Not Diamonds Dazzle,” was published in the New York Times on October 9, 1995. This was one of few American articles up to that point informing diamond consumers that buying a diamond might make them complicit in such atrocities as amputating the hands of innocent villagers, including women and children, in that strife-torn nation. It was also the only article in

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