HE’s who-gives-a-shit? scanner is officially switched on this afternoon regarding Ed Zwick‘s Blood Diamond (Warner Bros., probably Nov./Dec.). It feels to me like an on-the-nose moral outrage piece…a sticky-wicket neg-head thing.
Do you want to see a dramatically grandiose Ed Zwick melodrama about a mercenary (Leonardo DiCaprio) and a fisherman (Djimon Hounsou) mucking about during the Sierra Leone civil wars of the ’90s? An era when rebels seized mines to sell “blood diamonds” to buy arms as they murdered and mutilated thousands of innocent men, women and children? (You do?) I’m not following the thread but somehow the resistance levels are even higher with this report from L.A. Times reporter Elizabeth Snead that Sitrick and Company, L.A.s highest-profile damage-control publicists, have been hired by De Beers, a bigtime South African supplier of rough diamonds, to counterspin the negative image of their industry delivered by Zwick’s film, and that Sittrick, in turn, will be using former South Africa president and anti-apartheid crusader Nelson Mandela as a spokesperson. √É¬¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√Ö‚ÄúMandela is going to say that all that stuff seen in the film is in the past, that there are no more conflict diamonds in circulation and that the diamond industry is economically good for South Africa,√É¬¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√Ç¬ù a source has told Snead. √É¬¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√Ö‚ÄúAnd who in their right mind is going to argue with Nelson Mandela?”