Tuesday, December 19, 2006

'Blood Diamond' Movie Causes a Stir in Sierra Leonne

A few weeks ago we previewed the trailer of the new movie Blood Diamond. Apparently, officials in Sierra Leone are worried that the new Warner Bros. movie “The Blood Diamond,” about gem smuggling in Africa, will cause viewers to turn away from purchasing the precious jewels, and thus hurt the country’s vital diamond export industry.
The film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Djimon Hounsou is set in Sierra Leone during the war-torn 1990s, when diamonds were being illegally sold to fund bloody civil wars in the region.
"I am worried the film may be detrimental to the industry in Sierra Leone," said Mohamed Swaray Deen, minister of mineral resources, according to Reuters. "People need to know that when they are seeing atrocities, the country has moved very, very far away from the pictures they see in the movie. But the consumer might be affected by this."
Sierra Leone's war helped prompt the U.N.-organized Kimberly Process launched in 2003 to ensure "blood" or "conflict" diamonds are not sold on the black market to buy weapons. Kimberly has jump-started the industry in Sierra Leone: diamond exports boomed from $10 million in 2000 to $141 million last year. The government receives 3 percent of exports, worth $4.23 million last year.
Since 2001, the government has set aside a quarter of gem revenues for the Diamond Area Community Development Fund, which fosters development in mining areas.
"A lot of development has taken place since the war and the movie needs to include this," Deen said. [Source]

Yeah that's right, typical of governments, worrying more about money than true depictions of history that will serve to shape the future....how disgusting!

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