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Hollywood movies about Africa often contrive a balancing partnership of good black character and bad, or at least flawed, white character. The Last King of Scotland reversed this tradition but here normal service has been resumed.

Set in war-torn Sierra Leone in the late 1990s, Blood Diamond is about a noble fisherman, Solomon Vandy (Djimon Hounsou), and a cynical white arms dealer, Danny Archer, played by Leonardo DiCaprio with a Sith Iffrican iccent. Both men find themselves caught up in the dirty trade of blood diamonds: unofficial currency for buying arms. Archer wants to get his grubby mitts on a fabulously valuable “pink” diamond; Solomon knows where it is, but wants merely to be reunited with his son who has been abducted by Marxist rebels. Jennifer Connelly plays the beautiful journalist, the voice of conscience whose growing crush on the roguish Archer validates his place in the audience’s heart. The whole thing is more Gerald Ratner than Harry Winston.

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