I didn't make it to see Apocalypto in the end but last night we went to see Blood Diamond. It was a great film. The violence and carnage is horrific at times but not purely for 'this is Hollywood' effect, but because that is what must surely have been the case when government soldiers were engaged in street battles with militia. The story was also incredibly engaging at a number of levels.
The film was such a success because it raised so many questions. Although here we saw the exploitation of Africans for diamonds it could be so many other things that we in the west take for granted. The sad reality of life for people who live through such times may be summed up by the comment of one man, sat in what remained of his burning village, surrounded by bodies: "At least we don't have oil. Then we'd really be in trouble." We were left with a number of statistics but probably the most chilling for me was that there are 200,000 child soldiers in Africa today.
At the beginning of the year I had a strong sense of a need for social action to become a much bigger part of my faith. A film like Blood Diamond only increases this feeling but the question I find myself asking is "How?" Is ten quid a month going to do anything? Is writing a letter? Is buying fair trade? Is going there myself?
I don't know what the answer is, but I want to find out. If you do too, then start by checking out this site; www.realdiamondfacts.org.