Someone went out and got a copy of the movie 'Blood Diamond' with Leo DiWhoozit.
Set during in Sierra Leone during the 1999 civil war (incidentally, why do they call them "civil" wars? Having been through a couple, I can attest that there isn't anything "civil" about them) this movie focuses on the trade in "conflict diamonds" that helped fuel that war.
I admit to some trepidation -- when I discovered that Leo's character was intended to be Rhodesian, I had flashbacks to Keanu Reeve's bastardized "British By Way Of South Cali" Valley Dude accent in 'Bram Stoker's Dracula'.
I needn't have worried. The boy did his research, and while his Rhodesian accent isn't as perfect as many web-sites claim -- it's more of a generic Southern White African accent to my ear -- it is done rather well, and the slang he uses is almost perfect.
What he does nail dead-on is a brief use of what the movie calls "creole", but that we always referred to as "bush" or "pidjin" -- the pidgin English that is the lingua-franca of West Africa.
The movie manages to capture the brutality and barbarism of the Sierra Leone donnybrook -- the scenes of the young boys being indoctrinated into the RUF are particularly wrenching -- without being too over the top. Folks with weak stomachs might want to keep their eyes closed during some parts, though.
Our boy manages to pull off the world-weary soldier/mercenary quite well, and he paid attention to his shooting and tac instructors.
Just as an aside, I spotted a tat on DiWhazzits shoulder which I thought I recognized as a fairly famous SADF ID patch. Turns out I was right.
Jennifer Connelly pulled off her role as a reporter well -- truth be told, I didn't recognize her at first, which says good things about her abilities as an actress.
Djimon Hounsou gave a solid performance as the fisherman who only wants his son back.
I have a couple of minor nit-picks with the movie. A minor point in the movie revolves around the catch-phrase "This Is Africa" or "TIA". I don't ever recall hearing that catch-phrase in my years on the Dark Continent. The phrase I do remembering hearing -- and using -- is "Africa Wins Again", which would have fit the scenes much better.
The other nit-pick I have is that the film should have ended with the phone call on the mountain. I don't want to spoil the movie for those who haven't seen it, and those who have will recognize the scene of which I speak. Everything after that feels like an afterthought just mashed in any old way and really detracts from the power of that scene.
Oh, well. That's probably why I'm not a director.
'Blood Diamond' gets a Paw of Approval as being, "Not a bad little flick."