Dirty Diamonds

 

Title Dirty Diamonds – Angola
Director(s) Journeymanpictures
Date released (year) 1996
Production company Journeymanpictures
Length 6 mins
Location Angola
Keywords/tags Diamonds, Angola, mining,   natural resources
Link to film
Synopsis

 

 

 

Angola boasts the most dangerous and illegal diamond mines in the world.

From an aerial view, hundreds of men work like black ants on the crater   ridden landscape. In small groups, bare chested, knee deep in murky water   they seive gravel for hours until they spot the glitter of one tiny diamond.   In town, we interview an illegal trader who compares diamond dealing to the   blood diamond trade in a warzone. He takes out a small paper package from his   trouser leg and slowly unwraps a cluster of uncut jewels. He carries them to   bribe his way out of any difficult situations. The De Beers diamond cartel is   keen to stop the illegal diamond trade. A spokesman maintains that most of   Angola’s diamonds are smuggled out the country and are therefore denied to   the people of Angola. “We would like to develop a first class diamond   field and build a proper mining operation. In this way the country can be   further developed.” Local mining companies depend on private security   firms to guarantee their safety. While filming, bandits with grenade   launchers and machine guns take our reporter by surprise. After much   bargaining, she is finally allowed to leave the area

(Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xw23pTjKf-I&feature=related)

Reviews/discussion Since the Portugese left   Angola in 1975, there’s been no peace in the country. The civil war between   government troops and UNITA has left the country devastated. UNITA didn’t   recognise the result of the elections in 1992 – and so the conflict goes on.   Neither side find it difficult to buy weapons. They’re paid for in diamonds –   the wealth of Angola. The country could be one of the most prosperous in   Africa. It owns the most precious gem, but everyone is helping themselves to   this fortune.The government loses at least 30 million US dollars a month   through the illegal diamond trade. The diamond diggers are protected   sometimes by the army or police – everyone wants to cream something off this   profitable trade. Marion Mayer-Hodahl visits a dangerous illegal diamond   digging area.

Source: http://www.journeyman.tv/?lid=9856&tmpl=transcript

Links to other resources Keith Harmon Snow and Rick Hines: “Blood   Diamond: Doublethink and Deception Over Those Worthless Little Rocks of   Desire,” Z Magazine, June and July 2007, and Blood Diamonds at <http://www.allthingspass.com/journalism.php?catid=48 >.

Rafael Marques, Rinsing the Blood from   Angola’s Diamonds, Oxford University Africa Society, January 26, 2007.