Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Ellen Johnson the Iron Lady of Africa

         Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is also known internationally as Africa's "Iron Lady".  Ellen grew up in the capital of Monrovia and got marries and birthed four sons. Ellen has spent more than a year in jail because of military dictator General Samuel Doe and former president Charles Taylor all because she was worried about the welfare and well being of her people and their community.  


         Long before ever putting her bid in for the presidental candidacy, Ellen moved to the United States and attended Maddison College of Business where she obtained an accounting degree and a masters degree in Public Administration from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.  In October 2007 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her courage and selflessness acts for her people.  I think everything Ellen set out to do was very couragous and unegotistic.  You could say Ellen definately doesn't agree witht the theory of descriptive egoism.

                                                                                                               Ellen Johnson Citation

Charles Taylor - Skyler Buschman

He was a preacher, president, and warlord. Charles Taylor was a warlord before he became president of Liberia. In 1989 when his National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), alliance with Prince Johnson, another rebel leader, overthrew the presidency of Samuel K. Doe and took power. He then tried to intervene in neighboring Sierra Leone, using his NPFL forces together with RUF soldiers, and tried to overthrow the government of Jospeh Momoh. A gruesome civil war ensued.

When he was elected president of Liberia in 1997, he used his political power and status to fund RUF soldiers across Sierra Leone. He quietly provided weapons, ammunition, shelter and medical supplies that helped drive a viscous campaign of rape, torture, murder and mutilation that resulted in the death of over 50,000 people, and the mutilation of thousands more. His doings also supported the use of child soldiers in Sierra Leone. He encouraged the recruitment and brainwashing of innocent children to turn them into cold blooded killers that will fight for the RUF.

He helped plan with the RUF commander Sam Bockaire, attacks on the towns of Kono, Makeni and Freetown that took place in late 1998 and early 1999.

He stepped down from the presidency amid accusations of war crimes, and disappeared. He was later found, arrested and tried in the first ever war crimes trial since the Nuremberg trials of the Nazis. He was found guilty on 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and violations of international humanitarian law.
These included:
Acts of Terrorism
Violence to life, health, physical or mental well beings of person, murder in particular
Sexual Slavery
Outrages upon personal dignity
Cruel Treatment
Other inhumane acts
Use of child soldiers
At the already late age of 63, he was sentenced to 50 years in prison in May of 2012. He is currently serving his sentence in a UK prison.

Most useful source:

Geography and Physical features of Sierra Leone-Kyle Smith

The Countries surrounding it are Guinea which is to the north and Liberia which is to the south east. Sierra Leone is 29,995 square miles. Including the population of 4.5 million people. The country is right on the water, on the Atlantic ocean giving it an easy way to receive weapons and supplies from outside sources by boat/ship.The coast line is 300 miles long. The Freetown commercial area is 24 miles long and 10 miles in width.
Image result for sierra leone

The country has four distinct levels of elevation. In the lower picture you can see this from left to right. It starts with the Freetown peninsula, Coastal Plain, Interior/ lowlands then last but not least Interior plateau. The elevation goes anywhere between 0 to 1000 m (0 ft - 3000 ft). Very little is above 1800 ft above sea level. They have nine major rivers. There are a few mountains that are above 3000 ft. The tallest mountains are 1945 m (6381 ft.)

Image result for elevation of sierra leone
More Info

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Research Journal Six: Sydney Alspach

For my research topic I chose to write about Fourah Bay College and education ideals. I chose this topic because I was very interested in learning what college is like in Africa. Fourah Bay College was first established in February of 1872  as an Anglican missionary school by the Church Missionary Society. Samuel Ajayi Crowther was the first student to enroll at Fourah Bay. Soon after the college was open, many people from all over Africa were seeking for a higher education, which leaded them to British West Africa to attend Fourah Bay. This college was the first western-style university in West Africa. The first black principle for college was and African American missionary named Reverend Edward Jones, who was actually from South Carolina in the United States.

There were two major outbreaks at the University. The first out break was in 1820 which caused the school to close and reopen every other year until 1827. This outbreak was a lack of support from the surrounding area's which caused an out break to occur. The second out break occurred in 1939-1945 and this war was in Europe. The war started because the British threatened to finally shut down the college and turn the campus into a naval base for the British navy.

Currently the college is very successful. It has a student enrollment range of 3,000- 3,999 students. The campus is an urban campus setting, and is a public college. Learning about this college was very interesting to me because I didn't understand all the things just one college had to go through in order for it to be around today. Its amazing how education means so much over in the US, but in Africa people have to fight for their right to get an education.

Research Journal Six: Natalie Young

The diamonds have been affecting Africa since the late 1800’s but never in Sierra Leone until 1935. There are three major diamond producing areas in, Sierra Leone, one of which being. Kono. The diamonds there have been the fuel for taking a toll on the environment, fighting, as well as a civil war. The Diamonds caused a chaotic and terrifying civil war in, Sierra Leone, forcing men and young boys into being soldiers. Invading villages and killing the people that came with it for the food and ammunition. The boys were often brainwashed into thinking everything was “okay”  with guns, propaganda, and drugs. As a result of the civil war the population decreased by almost 50 percent  going from around 600,000 people to just above 300,000 people. The reckless mining in Kono District has also ended in the locals and wildlife having to relocate due to total environment collapsing, earth erosion, and damage the once rich farming soil.
Here is a photo of people from Sierra Leone Mining for the "blood diamonds"

Research Journal 6 Philip Mattix

    The traditional definition of a mercenary is an individual who works as a solider for financial gain in a conflict or country other than their own. A PMC or private military company is structured like a corporation where as a mercenary group is not. PMCs offer many services such as providing logistics services, advising, training, operational support and security among others.
   In 1995 the RUF came within 20 miles of Sierra Leones capital, Freetown. President Ahmed Kabbah hired Executive outcomes,EO ,to aid in his efforts of defeating the RUF. Executive outcomes contract was for 200 mercenaries to train government soldiers, provide logistical and combat support for 1.8 million a month. During the battle of Freetown, EO along with government troops defeat the RUF forces. Executive outcomes went on further to defeat the Rebel movement and maintained peace during the 1996 and 1997 elections. EO went on to form new units, the Kamajors, rather than using unreliable government troops. The Kamajors were mostly Mende local hunters who had experience fighting the RUF. EO trained them in Guerrilla tactics and how to fight along and with other units. With international pressure and the withdraw of the International monetary due to the mercenaries presence, Executive outcomes left Sierra Leone in 1997 only receiving 15.7 million of the 35.3 million that was contracted. President Ahmed Kabbah was ousted less than three months later after EO’s departure. Sandline International was hired to complete what EO started. They restored Kabbah into power but later withdrew as the rebels had signed a peace agreement.

Members of Executive Outcomes in Sierra Leone 1995

 Africa has a long history about the use of mercenaries.In the 13th century Pharaoh Ramesses II used 11,000 in his battles. In the 19th and 20th century the use of mercenaries was involved in conflicts and ending civil wars. Even today the use of pmcs is quite common. Large corporations such as Chevron will hire security companies to protect natural resources and energy assets.

Research Journal 6- Estelle

My research topic was Post Traumatic Stress Disorder found in child soldiers. This is a mental condition that is triggered by seeing or experiencing terrifying events. It brings back memories of trauma that brings intense emotional and physical reactions. This condition can last months, years, or be lifelong. Symptoms are normally flashbacks, nightmares, and anxiety. People often feel empty inside. They become aggressive, hostile, irritable, self-destructive, and socially isolated.

There are over 300,000 children used as child soldiers, or guerrilla fighters (small group of combatants that use military tactics to fight a larger traditional military). All of these children have been abducted and forced to be soldiers between the ages of 9-12. These children experience traumatic events such as witness murder or are forced to murder someone. Sierra Leone alone has suffered more than 10 years of war that involved children as being victims to it or one of the main causes of violence. Once the war was over many of these civilians didnt want these kids to return to their homes, they often would threaten to kill them if they ever were to see them again. Many kids were able to receive some type of help and return home but, often moved away to avoid the hostility and discrimination from their home communities.

The Revolutionary United Front (RUF)  invaded Sierra Leone from Liberia. It created a civil war that was brutal and sadistic. They claimed they wanted to end corruption and bring peace to the country, but often raided villages and abducted the children turning them into forced soldiers. They made them do/witness horrible things done to their families or other occupants of villages, tortured or raped them. The RUF, the local civil defence forces ( CDF), and the government all created child soldiers and took advantage of it.

During various stages of the war the child soldiers were slowly demobilized. Groups were created to help these kids.The psychological damage was wide spread. Many had conditions of somatization, depression, PTSD/ malignant PTSD. Since they are younger they are in an impressionable formative period, which has caused a lot of these kids scarring of their developing personalities. The PTSD rate of children in the war was measured at 48%.  In most cases the PTSD was chronic because it was years later they were able to get help after coming back from captivity.

Journal 6 mohammed

There were three main weapons used by child soldiers in the sierra Leone civil war, the G3, AK47, and RPG all very powerful guns. Most of the people handling these guns were children.
            The G3 a selective-fire automatic weapon, you can put it on safety, have it on single fire mode, or on automatic mode. It was designed by a German company Heckler and Koch. There are different types of models such as the G3A3, G3A4 etc. The firearm is equipped with iron sights and can hold a 50-round drum magazine.

            The AK47 was the most common weapon used in the Sierra Leone war. They were easily obtained and smuggled from other countries. It was developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov. It original use was to protect Russia from Germany in World War II. The AK-47 is best described as a hybrid of previous rifle technology innovations. The AK-47 was designed to be a simple, reliable automatic rifle that could be manufactured quickly and cheaply, using mass production methods that were state of the art in the Soviet Union during the late 1940s. Can be put into safety, full auto, or semi auto. Also can be equipped with a bayonet.

A rocket-propelled grenade (often abbreviated RPG) is a shoulder-fired, anti-tank weapon system that fires rockets equipped with an explosive warhead. These warheads are affixed to a rocket motor and stabilized in flight with fins. Some types of RPG are reloadable, while others are single-use. RPGs, with some exceptions, are generally loaded from the muzzle. RPGs were used extensively during the Vietnam War and the South African border war. Sweden, United States, and Russia are main producers and designers of this weapon.

Journal 6 by Jami Riegel

                                      Agony for Ivory

               The Ivory trade is the commercial, often illegal trade in ivory tusks from mainly elephants but can also be from hippopotamus, walrus, narwhal, and mammoths.
               Between the years of 2008 and 2013 there were estimated to be around 30,000 to 50,000 elephants killed each of those years alone. The slaughter of them is horrifying; ivory dealers employ and arm the poachers with machine guns, who in turn target entire herds, shooting them and then hacking off their tusks with an ax or with a chainsaw. 
               Then the tusks are fed into the illegal international trade, that is controlled by highly organized criminal syndicates. Demand for the tusks are located in Asia, Europe, and the United States to be sold as jewelry, piano keys, and priceless religious art objects. 

               Right now we have a bloody history in ivory trading but we need to do our part to change the history for our future loved ones by not buying anything that is made with tusks and also with the help of National Geographic and with an organization called Born Free, which this is where I received most of my information.

Major Tribes in Sierra Leone Ali

Within Sierra Leone there are many tribes as many as 16. The three main tribes are; Mende, Temne, and the Limba. Temne is the largest out of the three with over 35% of the population. In this ethic group majority is Muslim. This ethic group originated from Futa Jallon which is now Guinea. The current president of Sierra Leone is Temne. Temne people support the All Peoples Congress (APC). The second largest group is Mende, with over 31% of the population. The majority belief in this group is Muslim, with a large Christian minority. The Mende people came to Sierra Leone in the 1800's from Liberia. Mende people are descendants from the Liberian Hinterlands. They support the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP). The third largest group is, Limba. Limba people are about 8% of the population. They are natives of Sierra Leone and they have equal beliefs in both Christianity and Muslims. Their political beliefs are very similar to the Temne tribe. And most Limba people support the All People's Congress (APC). The Mende tribe in located in the south, and the Temne tribe is located in the north. These two are the most important tribal groups in Sierra Leone.

Journal Six: research journal by Patrick Lynch

My research topic is on Freetown the capital of Sierra Leone. Freetown first started as Granville when the first group of free slaves from London settled there. The first group was sent there to find new land for all the freed slaves in London. shortly after arriving Granville was then destroyed by indigenous people. When the second group of Africans came they rebuilt the city and called it Freetown. During this time Freetown and the rest of Sierra Leone was under British control but switched to an independent country after they declared independence in 1961. Freetown would then become the capitol of Sierra Leone and the center of trade in the country.

During the political changes that took place from 1991 to 1999 the city of Freetown has switched from being under Government control to RUF control. The RUF had contol of Freetown through past politics and presidents. In 1998 the Government came back in to secure the city. They were successful in capturing it back. In 1999 the RUF tried to take it back but were driven back. After years of Fighting the city would have peace again when the UN stepped in to help with peace and cease fire agreements between the Government and RUF.

Freetown is the capital city of Sierra Leone and was founded by 400 freed Nova Scota slaves.

Journal Six Research By Daniel Van Dyke

The topic I had was the food culture in Sierra Leone. Comparing their food culture to ours its very different. We see a snack as a bag of potato chips or cookies but to the people of Sierra Leone a snack is fruits and vegetables. The most common foods in their culture are rice, cassava equivalent to a potato, and okra. Almost every meal they eat has rice with it. During my research I found that they believe if they haven't eaten rice today, then they haven't eaten. They will prepare different types of stews that goes on top of their rice some containing hot peppers, seafood, chicken, and other vegetables. One of the stews i found old was groundnut stew. The stew contains vegetables and some meat but they add peanut butter into the mixture. Just by looks it doesn't look to good but it probably taste better than it looks.
Groundnut stew served with a fish head as the meat in the stew.
When its time to make the meal the women and the girls prepare the food. Meals are usually served from one big dish that everyone shares from. The men and the boys start to eat first then the women and the girls eat. Most of the time they eat with hands rolling up the rice and dipping it into the stew. Their way of eating and the types of food  the eat are different but that's to be expected since they have a different culture. They would look at us and think its weird what we are eating too.

Journal Six Research by Christian Poncsak

This photo shows President Tejan Kabbah on the right signing the Lome Peace Accord with rebel Foday in 1999. 

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission or TRC is held within South Africa which was set up by the government of National Unity to help deal with the happenings that occurred under apartheid. Violence and human abuses erupted from all sides of humanity.

The Truth and Reconciliation commission or TRC had put its mandate into effect by three committees. The first committee was the Amnesty Committee which was primarily put into effect by considering applications for amnesty were done with provisions of the Act. People could apply for amnesty for any act, omission, or offense associated with a political objective between 1 March, 1960 to 6 December 1993. Another committee that was involved was Reparation and Rehabilitation (R&R) Committee which provided victim support restore victims dignity and to formulate policy proposals and recommendations on rehabilitiation along with healing of survivors and families. This ensured a healthy coexistence in life. The last committee involved was Human Rights Violations who investigated the abuses that took place during the years of 1960 to 1994 from statements made from TRC. This committee resurfaced victims existence and the sufferance they had to go through in battle. Once the victims would be identified they would be referred to R&R.

There is a Register of Reconciliation that gave the public a chance to express their revet at failing to prevent human rights violations and demonstrate their a commitment to reconciliation.

People who qualify for victims would be people who are registered under Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and their dependents and relatives.

The Lome Accord was a peace agreement against RUF that ended Sierra Leone's civil war on paper in 7 July of 1999. The negotiations had emerged from diverse personalities wanting to rebuild a country as the fight was still pushing on. In 18 May of 1999 the peace movement received a big push when Kabbah and Sankoh agreed to a cease fire in Lome. The peace talks had been structured around three main topics which where military, humanitarian, and political. These topics would be dealt with by a person from the committee with equal representation from RUF and government.

RUF refused to agree until the Kabbah government freed Sankoh. The government team refused and made RUF-AFRC signing a precondition of a presidential pardon. The four presidents Obasanjo, Taylor, Compaore, and Eyadema met together to exert pressures on both parties to compromise and met with Sankoh along with Kabbah to persuade them to accept the deal.

On 7 July 1999 Sankoh and Kabbah had signed the Lome Accord Peace Agreement along with the witnesses and grantors. The amnesty and pardon didn't however apply to national crimes. The ground of peace was still elusive but the feud was done on paper.

Truth & Reconciliation Commission or TRC Link:

 Lome Accord Link:é-peace-negotiations

Monday, September 28, 2015

Research journal six by Carli Swisher

The topic I had was the R.U.F which stands for the Revolutionary United Front. This group is a from Sierra Leone that is self funding largely through the extraction of diamonds. They fought a ten year war in this country against the soldiers. A man by the name of Foday Sankoh started this group because of the government. He hated that the Samuel Doe's government had, had power for 24 years and their goal was to  end it. He got a group of men on his side and they started going form  town to town killing everyone in their sites. They would take over diamond areas, get pushed out by the government and then take it over again. If the government caught you and they accused you of being in collaboration with the rebels you were jailed and sometimes killed. If the rebels knew that you weren't with them they would torture you. They would cut off slowly a hand, genitals, feet and ears. If you were a girl they would sometimes rape you in front of your family. There were some that would be soldiers by day and rebels by night and what they would do was fight as soldiers and then blame it on the rebels. These men were called sobels. After this started to happen the rebels would raid towns wearing stolen army uniforms. The rebels would get young men and turn them into rebels. The rebels had about 3-4 thousand and small groups of 5-6 hundred. The problem the army was having was that about 20% of their troops were disloyal.
In 1995 the government had called upon the Executive Outcomes which was a security that had successfully repelled rebels in other countries. After lots of attacks form the EO the rebels ceased-fire and sought for peace talks with the government. But then attacked a jail where their leader was held and it all started again. They attacked more towns and even attacked Freetown in 1999.
In 2001 reports of their abuse had decreased and things were changing. Only 49 of the rebels were charged with 16 counts of murder and 54 counts of shooting with intent to commit murder. There were only a few who went to trial in front od a judge in 2002. Their trials were postponed and looked at again in 2003 of the five people who were charged two died before the trial. One of them was Foday Sankoh.  Although they are not around and more they did a lot of damage while they were in the group. These men were heartless and only cared for themselves. They destroyed families, houses, towns, and the kids the people of Sierrs Leone. 

Journal 6 from Gabbie Schilling

Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee

Leymah Gbowee was a young women who lived in Africa and was studying at an university to become a medical doctor. Her plans were disrupted when one morning on her way out of the door to go the university Gbowee dreams had to be put on hold do to the outbreak of the first civil war in Liberia. After witnessing the trauma and conflict that the war had brought to Liberia Gbowee decided to get an education in trauma counseling. Gbowee wanted to help the children that had been traumatized by the war, and were forced to fight in the war as a child soldier. By 2007 Gbowee had earned herself a Master's degree in Conflict Transformation from Eastern Mennonite University located in the United States. Gbowee had also been working hard in Africa trying to help the women and children. She co-founded the Women Peace and Security Network. She also is a founding member and former coordinator for Women in Peacebuilding/West African Network for Peacebuilding . 

This is Leymah Gbowee holding her Nobel Peace Prize Diploma. 
Gbowee won her Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 for her work in leading a women's peace movement that helped bring an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003. She shared this award with fellow Liberian Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Yemen-native Tawakkol Karman. Gbowee is the founder and president of Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa based in Liberia. This foundation makes it possible for young girls and women to be provided with educational and leadership opportunities in West Africa. 

Blood Diamond Review by Gunnar Flavell

This film relates to A long Way Gone by showing the viewer the fear and suffering that are relative between the two titles.  Visually seeing these events take place help us better understand the pain, fear, and corruptness involved in the lives of the characters.  One important part that really stuck out to me right from the beginning was that they spared Solomon’s life and that the guy who was yelling at him in the jail for stealing the diamond would probably reappear with some conflict involved later on in the film.  We also recognize  how the rebels are brainwashing the child soldiers just like the book A Long Way Gone offering them whatever materialistic things they could want like drugs, alcohol, guns, food, and protection.  By doing this they are taking advantage of the children’s innocence and immaturity to use them like robots, programming them for destruction and not a future like children should be raised.  

As the film goes on we witness a lot of mixed emotions between all three characters as they all try to reach their goal.  It also shows a relationship between Danny and Maddie that is quite sexual in a way and really gives off that vibe.  When the end of the movie comes it ends of course with the diamond being retrieved and of course Maddie getting her great story and of course Leonardo DiCaprio still not receiving an Emmy award. I really enjoyed the film and thought the acting and plot were fantastic.

Blood Diamond Review-Kyle Smith

The movie Blood Diamond had taken place in Sierra Leone, in the 90's just like the book we are reading. It was the journey of two men to find what was destined for them, Solomon got to leave Africa with his family and got paid for his huge 100 karat diamond. Danny Archer found his true place, it was to stay in Africa where he died in peace with the most beautiful view he had ever seen. All of this happened at the end of the movie being one of my favorite scenes and I think one of the most memorable because Danny was going to take the diamond for himself. I would recommend this movie. It kept you on the end of your seat as you watched it. It was a gruesome movie but i think it definitely portrayed war and what it can do to a person. This movie ran parallel to similar events in A Long Way Gone. Such as the attacking of the village and taking resources and gathering drugs.
Image result for blood diamond

This movie got mixed reviews. Some saying it was more of a thriller like the New York Times and some saying it was more political based. This was said by Reel Views“Blood Diamond is a mixed bag - a movie that has its share of stark, unforgettable moments but whose substance never fully gels. Despite the participation of two marquee topping actors and the strength of the director's resume, it's hard to imagine there's much of an audience for a movie fueled more by the politics of African atrocities than the adrenaline and testosterone cocktail that typically characterizes this sort of film. The film's length works against it, but there's enough here to warrant a recommendation, even if it's not the most enthusiastic one I have ever given to a Zwick production.” I can see where this reviewer is coming from but I still liked the movie. I can see it as being more political based but seeing this movie was interesting to me.

Blood Diamond Review by Christian Poncsak

The major motion picture film called, Blood Diamond leaves a detailed depiction of how humanity verses wealth can divide families and create a terror over a community leaving many with identity losses. It's devastating to see how individuals within a community can have a normal day but then within seconds be either killed by enemies or develop fear every second of every day.

When you sit and analyze this film you almost want to stand up and try to jump into the screen to help the villagers against the rebels. The main character named, Danny Archer who is played by the actor Leonardo DiCaprio made himself a huge target in the conflict of digging for diamonds. The story takes place in a town named, Sierra Leone where a man named Solomon played by actor Djimon Hounsou lives with his family. Solomon and Danny don't hit it off in the beginning but soon instill each other's trust within each other knowing that they can use one another to get what they want from the pink diamond Solomon found while being held captive by the rebels. Solomon wanted his wife and three children back while Danny wanted to have his way paid permanently out of Africa.

Danny while being tan and having slick back hair with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth met a women by the name of Maddy Bowen played by Jennifer Connelly who was in Sierra Leone to cover the treacherous activities of the diamond digging and the rebel attacks. Maddy was a journalist that didn't give up until she received what she was looking for and she knew she saw what she was looking for when her path met with Danny at a bar. He was the diamond smuggler in Sierra Leone not interested in anyone's story but his own. He was on the evil side in the beginning during the year of 1999 while trying to accomplishing crossing into Sierra Leone. He had diamonds tucked into a few goats which he was busted for by the patrol landing himself in jail.

Solomon eventually reunited with his family again while Danny was wounded unexpectedly leaving him to die in Africa. Maddy and Danny fell in love with one another but that love didn't mature due to the mission Danny was on to find the pink diamond. The film is full of terror but love that is found within hard time in a country. Love that can be so inspiring to want to be apart of that it makes you realize the petty things i n life when you and your loved one are in a battle of life or death due to valuable material possessions like diamonds.  

This photo shows Danny and solomon running away from a rebel attack on a city just minute after both of them decided to work together to each get what they want in the end when they find that diamond. 

Other reviews wanted to look at the story from a closer angle to see the flaws. For instance Variety said, "Africa’s enduring sorrow is ripe for drama, but “Blood Diamond” is, finally, a fitting metaphor for the gems: Potentially brilliant from a distance, but upon closer inspection, one likely will see the flaws." This to me shows that individuals no matter what will always want to look at films a negative way if it involves killing of human lives for selfish and material reasons. When a film like this one is created portraying real life vents it's no doubt that individuals will want to look at a film from a negative perspective. 

Blood Diamond Review Skyler Buschman

Blood Diamond is a film featuring Leonardo Decaprio, that surrounds and shows the hidden horrors and realness to child soldiers and the exploitation of an entire countries population for the production and distributions of diamonds throughout the world. The film follows Archer and Soloman, through a joint relationship to a priceless diamond buried somewhere in the forest of Sierra Leone, with Soloman, it's keeper, in a journey to retrieve it. Along the way they encounter RUF and government forces that bring them near death on several occasions, they witness the death of hundreds in gunfights and raids on villages and they have to see children that are being recruited and trained to kill, fight and die at the hands of their own people. Innocent civilians are murdered and pushed away from their homes and seek saftey. But luckily, Maddy Bowen, the journalist was able to release evidence of a multi billion dollar corporations involvement in fueling the conflict, as well as benefiting billions on it's behalf. The Kimberley Process was drafted later by the UN and other assisting countries. This helped stop the spread on blood diamonds throughout the world to stem the violence in the country.
The film does an excellent job of showing the violence, chaos and disorder that ravages the country and the effects that it has on the children that are brainwashed into becoming cold blooded killers through propaganda, and the rest of the worlds ignorance of the situation.
It also does great in describing the reason why this country is plagued with violence is the two billion dollar a year industry, diamonds. The average consumer doesn't think twice about where their diamonds come from, but they also don't realize that they are funding the destruction of a country and it's people and the film really gets that awareness across.
Overall, I thought the movie was fantastic. How it brings light to hidden horrors in our world is something everyone should experience so we cease follow in violent footsteps. I would highly recommend this movie.
People are forced to mine for diamonds under threat of death.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

blood diamond review natalie young

The movie the Blood Diamond is about the civil war in, Sierra Leone,  in the 1990’s and two men’s journey through hazardous rebel territory to reach the diamond and solve their problems. The dialogue was very critical in the movie by truly portraying everything about the character, the thoughts, feeling and so on.  The movie Blood Diamond and the book A Long Way Gone are very similar. They both have the main conflict being that there is a civil war in, Sierra Leone,  they are both separated from their family, they have one old man forgotten about in a village where they seek advice from.  They also both have a common theme, hope.  Without having it they wouldn’t have the motivation of finding their families and surviving the civil war. They have to have hope that there is going to be a light at the end of the dark and they have to have hope that they can survive the war and be reunited with their families once again. I would highly recommend this movie to anybody that has knowledge of the war, or wanting to get a better visual as to what it was about. I would also recommend it for the incredible graphics and dialogue. After reading a few reviews I have found that people either really like the movie or they do not. One of the reviews said that “Most of us take the nice, soft life we live for granted. We rarely stop to think about what it’s like in other parts of the world.” I would have to agree with this quote. Sometimes we do take it for granted. We never know what we have until it is gone. 
here is a photo of his son. it shows just how brain washed the boy soldiers were