The movie Blood Diamond is an action/adventure and drama movie. It was shot all around Mozambique to give off the scenery of Sierra Leone. The movie shows different villages in different scenarios, with rich natural colors like brown, green, red etc. The cities are portrayed as hectic and intimidating, dirty and poor. The actors in the movie are dressed in neutral colored clothes which are dirty and torn. The clothes give off the sign that the people are having a hard time in the country. The lighting in the movie is very bright.
It portrays Sierra Leona in a way that makes the audience feel like they are living it. The actors portray the character wonderfully, showing what happens during civil wars in Africa and how diamond mines effect the people living there. Director Edward Zwick has a big approach to the narrative part of this movie. In the beginning of the movie it starts with a dark lighting but a small hint of candle lit by Solomon Vandi. Soon after the movie shifts to a bunch of tracking shots of the African wilderness and landscapes, with long shots of the mountains and fields.
During the first few minutes into the movie, Solomon and his son are walking towards the village; the settings around them is quiet and relax until it’s disrupted by a groups of rebels. As the movie continues the Director uses more long shots to intensify the tension of the civil war going on in Sierra Leone. Examples of tracking shot are shown when Solomon and Danny Archer are running from the rebels during the capture of Cape Town. The director uses crane shots for the scenes where the characters are running up or hiking in the mountains.
There are lots of uses of extreme long shots during the landscape scenes. For example, the scene of the refugee camp, the whole camp is show yet not human figures are recognizable. Throughout the movie there are several uses of close up shots to escalate the meaning of the scene as in telling a secret or giving out secret information. The director also uses hand held camera work that gives the story a chaotic feeling, discomfort and more emphasis on the action. In the course of the movie several abrupt contrast are seen, most of which are transitions from Hounsou’s character to DiCaprio’s character.
Also an abrupt contrast is seen when right after the sunrise to when Hounsou’s character was walking with his son on the street. The director manipulates the length of the shots during the action scenes, especially when the rebels took over a village or massacred a whole town. Near the end of the movie, Danny’s character was in an eyeline match, where he was looking towards the soldiers trying to kill, but in actually no one was there. Also when DiCaprio and Hounsou’s character were about to pass the bridge, he killed a man far off into the field, who actually wasn’t there.
Also, there are several special edits, for example, the entire refugees would be walking towards the safe camp and then the next scene would be the journalists in the car going towards other villages. The sound and music gives the movie the definition it needed. The music in chaotic scenes made it suspenseful and thrilling while music in relaxed and comforted scenes made the audience feel for the characters. During the club scene, the editors used the method of sneak in/ sneak out so the audience can clearly understand what DiCaprio’s character and Connelly’s character were talking about.
The method of Micky Mousing was used in the scenes when Dicaprio and Hounsou were running away from the rebels or when the soldiers were fighting off the rebels during town massacres. In the scene when Cape Town was being raided by the rebels was most stylistically interesting. The scene starts off in the noisy streets of Cape Town where DiCaprio and Hounsou are having a conversation when all of a sudden chaos breaks out when the rebels start massacring people on the streets. This scene combines mickey mousing and special sounds like the sound of the bullets and the bombs going off.
The whole scene has a fair amount of tracking shots when the entire town’s people are running away to save their lives. At the same time hand held camera work was also seen to make the scene have more of a hectic vibe. And lastly crane shots were used for the explosion scenes and scenes in the highlands. Near the end of the movie shows that Hounsou’s character finally reached the goal of getting his story out to the public. That scene stood out among any other scenes. The camera gives the audience the whole view of the grand hall of the congressional meeting where the meeting was taking place.
As Hounsou’s character walking into the room, the tracking shot gave the full view the background while focusing mainly on Hounsou. As he got up to the podium to speak, the camera had a medium close up on his face to capture the audience’s attention to what he was about to say and then the screen fades to black. Then it continues to warn viewers about conflict diamonds sold in the market. All around the movie was truthful and chaotic. It portrayed the harsh reality of what happens in some parts of Africa because of a piece of diamond.
It was also fast-paced and exciting. It kept the audience’s attention as to what was going to happen next and how were the characters going to end up. The movie showed the audience the bitter truth of what some people’s lives are like in another part of the world. Most of the movie was objective, it showed the truth and it can be proven if needed. The visuals were bright enough for audience to know what was happening and a lot of camera movements were seen, especially in action scenes. The camera work helped telling the story of the African fisher man and his family.