Blood Diamond

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
There isn't a woman alive who doesn't love diamonds. Even the super left wing chicks who saw Blood Diamond and cried. When they get a diamond, they like, "Yeah, bitch, get more of them blood diamonds! Make 'em extra bloody."
Tom Haverford(Aziz Ansari) on Parks and Recreation

Blood Diamond is a 2006 film about blood diamonds. It was directed by Edward Zwick and stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou and Jennifer Connelly. Set during the Sierra Leone Civil War in 1999, the film shows a country torn apart by the struggle between government soldiers and rebel forces. It follows two main points of view. Solomon Vandy is a Mende fisherman; his village is attacked and his son taken to be a child soldier, and the rest of his family goes missing while he himself winds up working in a slave camp. Danny Archer is an Anglo-African amoral ex-mercenary from Zimbabwe (though he adamantly keeps referring to it as Rhodesia) and diamond smuggler. He is arrested trying to smuggle diamonds by using a herd of goats as cover, and meets Solomon while in prison.

Solomon had discovered a large diamond during his time as a slave, and hidden it carefully before he is arrested during an attack on the slave camp he was working at. The only other person who knows about the diamond is the commander of the slave camp, Captain Poison, who quickly places a bounty on Solomon's head. When Danny hears about the diamond, he offers to help Solomon find his scattered family in exchange for it. They are soon joined on their quest by American reporter Maddy Bowen.

Not to be confused with the similarly named Documentary Blood Diamonds.

Tropes used in Blood Diamond include:
  • A-Team Firing: The poorly-trained RUF rebels just fire their guns in the general direction of the enemy and hope that they hit something. Danny, who is a well-trained mercenary, mostly fires in semi-auto or bursts, and manages to own loads of hostile ass.
  • Anti-Hero: Danny.
  • Berserk Button: Do not threaten Solomon's family.
    • Don't call him a "kaffir," either. Truth in Television, using that word around Africans is very, VERY bad form.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Solomon escapes with the diamond and is reunited with his family. Maddy exposes the blood diamond trade. Danny, directly responsible for both of these outcomes, dies slowly on a hill in Africa after being gut-shot.
  • Black and Gray Morality: The rebels are bad guys, the government they overthrew are bad guys, and the white African mercenaries are bad guys. Lampshaded by Danny.
  • Bling Bling Bang: Trope Namer.
  • Break the Cutie: Standard procedure for the RUF in regards to making Child Soldiers.
  • Cell Phone: One of the most moving uses of them in any movie, ever.
  • Chekhov's Gunship: The Mi-24 helicopter was seen flying around the merc base before the diamond mine assault.
  • A Child Shall Lead Them: A rather dark take on this trope, though there is some humor when a teacher mentions that the local warlord is still afraid of his ruler on his knuckles.
  • Child Soldiers: Makes for 1/3 of the anvil.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Solo's son happens to be in the rebel camp right where Poison was told the diamond would be. This is because Poison specifically bought him there as bait.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: As soon as the mercs' Hind shows up at the mining camp, you know what's about to happen.
  • Dating Catwoman: Danny and Mandy constantly joke about how they plan to "screw" while remaining wary of each other since Danny knows she's a reporter. He finally caves in and gives her the information she needs midway through the film, but they're forced to separate and never see each other again.
  • Death Equals Redemption: Danny.
  • Defusing the Tykebomb: Successfully done by Solomon to his own son, after a failed attempt earlier.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: An absurdly powerful private military company secretly hired by a large diamond company to make a fortune out of the blood diamonds mined during the Sierra Leone civil war? Sounds familiar...
    • In reality De Beers had no links to Executive Outcomes this time; Executive Outcomes were hired by the Sierra Leonean government for fifteen million dollars and diamond mining concessions. The diamond mining concessions were part Executive Outcomes' payment for destroying the rebels and unless they were extremely benevolent they weren't going to be sharing them with De Beers. Since the U.N. and Clinton Administration pressured the Sierra Leonean government to kick EO out of the country once they had brought peace the diamond mines were quickly back in the hands of the rebels as peace collapsed a few months later.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: You sure did Solomon.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: Danny and Colonel Coetzee are former members of 32 Battalion, an infamous light infantry and reconnaissance unit from The Apartheid Era. How badass were they? Suffice to say, an officer from the Battalion eventually went on to found Executive Outcomes, one of the most successful modern Private Military Companies ever, and recruited exclusively ex-32's and other elites.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Captain Poison.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: Danny pursuing Dia during the battle at the mining camp.
  • Foreshadowing "This is home. You'll never leave Africa."
  • Freudian Excuse: As a child, Danny witnessed the brutal murder of his parents by the rebels who overthrew Rhodesia and created Zimbabwe, and a rather similar situation is true of the child soldiers he encounters.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Although there's no real indication he was ever a good guy, Captain Poison justifies his behavior this way:

Poison: You think I am a demon. But it's only because I've lived in hell. I want to get out.

  • Honor Before Reason: Solomon will do anything to get his son, which nearly gets them killed multiple times and makes him very easy for the greedier characters to exploit.
  • Hot Scoop: Maddy. "If you saw her, you would never forget her."
  • Instant Death Bullet: Rebels who get shot fall down immediately. But there are three exceptions: Colonel Coetzee, Kapanay, and Danny.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Maddy Bowen.
  • Ironic Echo: "I'm the cameraman."
  • Just Plane Wrong: A very minor case of it, though. Danny's plane is an Australian Gippsland GA8 Airvan, which only existed as an incomplete prototype in 1999.
    • The Airvan is, however, a good representative of the types of single-engine planes common in Africa.
  • Large Ham: Solomon has his moments (generally when he's angry).
  • MacGuffin: The diamond, of course.
  • Made of Iron: Danny takes a bullet which puts him in a lot of pain, but still manages to protect Solomon and get him to the plane. He manages a last phone call to Maddy before dying.
  • Magic Feather: A fairly tragic one, as Dia's identity as child-soldier "See-Me-No-More" is tied up in the cap that Poison gave him as part of his promotion. When that gets knocked off in the climactic battle, he reverts to plain old Dia... until having someone killed right in front of him.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: A slight example: cheetahs don't live in Sierra Leone or any of her neighboring countries. Elephants, though extremely rare, can still be found there.
  • Mood Dissonance: Given the tone of the film, pretty much every single time they make a joke. The biggest is probably when Danny makes a joke while he's dying, and both men laugh.
    • Partial Truth in Television - in stressful situations, even the lamest joke can get those involved busting a gut, since it helps dissipate the emotional strain. Of course, it also helped that the joke in question was getting a bit of long-riding tension out in the open.

Solomon: I thought you would try to take it from me.
Danny: It occurred to me.

  • Not So Different: Danny and Poison both want the diamond so they can get out of Africa.
  • The Obi-Wan: Benjamin meets Danny, challenges his world view, and is non-fatally shot, all within ten minutes.
  • Oscar Bait: Five nominations, no wins (Hounsou won three Supportings, though).
  • Papa Wolf: Solomon Vandy, of course.
  • Private Military Contractors: And from an absurdly powerful company too, with at least a transport plane and a gunship. Most likely based on Executive Outcomes, which was even more absurdly powerful and did fight in the Sierra Leone conflict.
  • Running Gag: Danny falling asleep in the transport du jour.
  • Scary Black Man: Solomon is probably the most sympathetic character, but give him a shovel and a few close-ups of his guttural screams, and you've got one scary dude.
  • Scenery Porn: Holy crap, Africa is pretty.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Many, even Captain Poison.
  • Shovel Strike: Solomon used one to give a beatdown to a slave master.
  • South Africans With Surface to Air Missiles: The mercenaries are South African.
  • Tempting Fate: When encountering child soldiers blocking a bridge:

Benjamin Kapanay: (Insisting on stopping) "No, do you know where the word "infantry" comes from, it means: Child Soldier. They're just children."

  1. Specifically the widely exported Hind-D model with twin bubble canopy, the Hind-A model has appeared in several movies.