Monday, November 9, 2009

Blood Diamond

When discussing Simba, Dryer says that "the colonial landscape provides the occasion for the realization of white male virtues, which are not qualities of being but of doing-acting, discovering, taming, conquering" (150).

Perhaps the 2006 film Blood Diamond is an accurate, modern example of this same idea. Although the film probably doesn't use as much obvious, racist techniques, it still portrays the white man coming in to save the day. Even though one of the leads is played by a black, African man (Djimon Hounsou), the characters played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Connolly are still needed in order to facilitate some kind of investigation and eventual change in the forced enslavement of children in the diamond fields in civil war-torn Sierre Leone. Throughout the film, DiCaprio's character embodies "moral superiority of white values of reason, order, and boundedness" unlike those living in Sierre Leone (151).


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  2. It's been a while since I've seen this so I may be talking out of turn but wasn't DiCaprio a diamond-smuggler/ art trader? Not a particularly moral vocation, not did he approach it with any particular convictions. More interesting still is that his character, despite being white, was beaten and imprisoned by black Africans. While there was a clear hierarchy between African and Non-Africans the power distinction between white and black Africans was not (if I remember correctly apparent) apparent. Though likely historically inaccurate I found the race relations in this film to be particularly even-handed and unusual in comparison to similar films (of which the last few years has seen many.)

  3. ah, yeah, you're right. DiCaprio was a white Rhodesian diamond smuggler who was imprisoned for doing just that, so I guess this movie wouldn't be an accurate example of what Dryer was talking about. Oops.