It Takes A Village
Rio Tinto Select
Power of Purse
|CONFLICT FREE DIAMONDS||
The Blood Diamond is an important film, possibly one of the most important films made in the past few years. |
The phenomenon of the film will be studied in film schools and business schools (in a variety of departments); and courses will be added about cause branding and corporate social responsibility because of it.
On the surface, in the reel world, it is a romantic adventure film (set in Sierra Leone in the 1990s); but, behind the scenes (sub-topic) it is a social commentary on a number of subjects that are very important in the real world that we live in today.
The film is only one of a number of non-fiction books (The Heartless Stone); novels (Jon Lamb’s Blood Diamonds); documentaries about children (Stolen Childhoods); documentaries about women (Zulu Love Affairs by Emmanuelle Bidou); and major Hollywood films (Syriana and The Constant Gardener) that have tackled western business for exploiting the African continent for profit and control of natural resources..
But the question has to be asked why it is so different with reference to the diamond industry and the reaction of the representatives of the industry to it.
The attention to the film (well before its release date) should be of even more concern to the diamond industry (at the cutting centers and diamond exchanges worldwide).
The film calls attention to a number of problems in Africa attributed (rightfully or wrongfully) to diamonds.
The film makes no attempt at differentiation with reference to diamonds (conflict, conflict-free, blood diamonds, good diamonds, ethical diamonds, rough, polished, rounds, fancies, etc.) and individual companies, family businesses, corporations, trading centers, dealers, traders, diamond exchanges, producers, mines, countries, cutting centers, etc. It treats them all in the same way as part and parcel of the same subject.
The film is about a pink rough diamond; where it is found; and how it gets to London. The innuendo and indirect references are quite brilliant facets of the script and storyline.
While researching the film and its impact on the diamond industry, I found a very interesting documentary. It is available from the Filmakers Library in New York at 124 East 40th Street. Their phone is 212-808-4989. E-mail contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Zulu Love AffairsSet in the verdant hills of Kwa-Zulu Natal, this is an intimate and spontaneous depiction of the lives of women left behind while their husbands, migrant laborers, work in the mines far away. By turns sad, touching or amusing, this film bears eloquent testimony to the ravages of an economic system which tears families apart to feed South Africa's insatiable mines.
These women raise huge families, tend the fields, herd the cattle, and generally run village affairs. One says defiantly "I'm the man of the house." As they talk with each other and the filmmaker one hears many of the same joys and sorrows, angers and hopes as one would anywhere in the world. But here life is shaped by the absence of men, who seem to come home only to make children and contribute paltry pay to the subsistence of their families. Some women treasure their rare nights of passion with their husbands, while others resent their being left to languish in loneliness and sexual frustration.
The filmmaker, a Western woman married to a Zulu musician has lived in the society. Her film captures the warmth and humor of the Zulu women, which they retain despite the challenges of their lives.
"A good anthropological study of women in a South African village trying to provide for themselves and their families, Zulu Love Affair is a good addition to any public or academic library women's studies collection. Recommended" Beth Taylor, University of Wisconsin Libraries, Milwaukee, Educational Media Reviews on Line
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Revised 18 JUNE 2006