Solomon Vandy (Dijmoun Hounsou) is torn away from his family and used for diamond fishing after a rebel attack on his small village in Sierra Leone. Right after fishing a huge and peculiarly pink diamond the rebel camp is attacked and he has just enough time to bury the diamond before being brought to prison by the military. In prison the ambitious diamond smuggler Danny Archer (Leonardo DiCaprio) hears of the buried diamond and frees Solomon Vandy as soon as he gets free himself. He wants them to be associates, he promises him to help him find his family if Solomon brings him to the hide of the diamond. With the help of journalist Maddy Bowen (Jennifer Connelly – How I met your Mother) they travel across the country, each of them following his own interests.
This movie being one of the too few Hollywood movies playing in Africa shows this so photogenic continent in its best. Blood Diamond is a very violent movie but it doesn’t contain violence just for violence. It chooses very well when and how to place the violence, which is instead of hunger or poverty, the biggest problem that Africa seems to have in this movie. This contrast created by the beauty of the shown landscapes and the cruelty of the violence symbolizes the injustice in which the continent is living.
Danny Archer, the middle class white African played by Leonardo DiCaprio, represents the will of leaving the continent behind for a better life. Diamond smuggling is just representative for the large amount of natural resources in Africa for which their population is being exploited. This is very obviously the main social critique in the movie. Solomon Vandy, as part of the exploited population only wants to be with his family and to provide them a better life. To reach this goal he has to work together with the selfish, arrogant Danny Archer.
While Archer is clearly the self confident hero who pushes the story forward, Solomon Vandy carries the whole emotional weight of the movie on his shoulders and there’s a lott of it in this movie. The movie clearly aims for the viewers emotions, tearing them from one extreme to another with beautiful and cruel scenes. And it reaches this goal with great success! The movie took me emotionally like i didn’t expect it to do, even if Danny Archer’s story seems to be the main story line on the first sight, the movie is about Solomon Vandy and the injustice he is going through.