“TIA” : That Is Africa

    In 1999, the Civil War consumed the Sierra Leone. After the rebels attacks his village, Solomon Vandy, a fisherman, get separated from his family. He was forced to work in the diamond field where he discovers a huge pink diamond. While hiding it, the Commandant of the Rebels sees, but the rebels are attacked by the government army and Salomon is arrested. In jail, the commandant tells the prisoners that Salomon found a priceless stone. The African mercenary smuggler, Danny Archer who witness all the scene, proposes Solomon his help to find his family in exchange of the diamond. To reach his goal, Danny uses Maddy Bowen, an American idealistic journalist which aim is to get information about diamond smuggling. Each one of them were linked to that pink diamond : The Commandant of the Rebels : to fund their actions, Archer : to get out of Africa, Maddy : to track down diamond smuggling and Solomon : to get his family back…

Blood Diamond

Blood Diamond

Edward Zwick is not (The Last Samurai, Glory) at his first war movie. They couldn’t find a better director to combine History and fiction into a magnificence drama story. And, the actors were also well cast. Leonardo DiCaprio, the handsome guy from the blockbuster “Titanic” becomes a mercenary with a perfect South African accent. I have to say that during “Titanic” phenomenon, I never thought he can play such a character. But, his movies tell far more about his talent : The Beach, Catch me if you can, The Departed. Nevertheless, despite of his great job, the eyes turn on Djimon Hounsou (Beauty shop, Gladiator), his physical presence and his drama acting just mean. And not to weightless Jennifer Connelly (Hulk, A beautiful mind) , she was pretty convincing in the journalist who wants to make the difference. The movie was nominated for five Oscars in 2006, including : Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for Leonardo DiCaprio and Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for Djimon Hounsou.

“Blood Diamond” is based on truth events that happened in Sierra Leone. To refresh the history, The Sierra Leone Civil War began in 1991, initiated by the Revolutionary United Front (RUF). The R.U.F. used the diamond field to fund their union. Smuggling, massacre, terrorism and many other atrocities were done by the rebels during 9 years of conflict. Tens of thousands died and more than 2 million people were displaced and became refugees attempting to escape the civil war. It was officially declared over on 18 January 2002. But till now, there is still 200 000 child soldiers in Africa

Politic steadiness is one of main bases to an economic development for a country. Unfortunately, political power is the most unstable in Africa. In Madagascar, for many times, the country was destroyed by conflicts between the government and their politic antagonists : 1972, 1991, 2002 and 2009. The situation nowadays is not as terrible as a civil war described in the movie. But if things still go that way, it may lead to a civil war. I hope I’m wrong. “TIA” they said in the movie, which means : “That Is Africa. Are we that lost ?

Be aware

taken-poster-big2

             Let me present you : Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson). He is an ex-secret agent. He finds a job as a bodyguard. He’s divorced and have a 17 years old daughter Kim (Maggie Grace). During her holidays, Kim asks permission to her father to go on a trip to France with her friend Amanda. Skeptical about that idea of her daughter flying away from him, in a foreign country, he lets her go anyway. Arrived in France, at the airport, Kim and Amanda is approached by a friendly guy and proposed them to share the cab fee. In the house, Kim was on the phone with her father when, from the windows of the bathroom, she sees men enter in the house, attack and kidnap Amanda. Still on the phone, Bryan gives her instructions but aggressors finally find Kim and kidnap her. Later on, Bryan discover that his daughter was kidnapped by the Albanian mafia in human trafficking. He has 96 hours otherwise he would never find his daughter anymore …”

 

 

              “TAKEN” (2008) is an action movie as I like: a hero, solid as a rock, reaching for his goal and killing some bad guys on his way.  If you are a fan of the series “The Bourne Identity” (Matt Damon) then you shouldn’t miss this one. The director, Pierre Morel (Banlieu 13), and the writer, Luc Besson are French. It was  predictable because most the scene were in France. But, it seems like French people can make good action movies as well as comedy. The action scenes were really realistic : car races, gun shots, and my favorite : the hand to hand fights. More surprising is Liam Neeson (The Haunting, Schindler’s list), I never saw him playing that tough and unshakeable guy before. He is incredible. One of my favorite quote is : “I’m retired, I’m not dead”. His character’s motivation is so honorable that we hope that he would kill more.

 

 

 The movie touched also a warm matter : human trafficking : it’s kidnapping girls and forced them to be sex-slave and prostitute. Actually, it’s the third illegal trade which paid most after drugs and weapons ($10billion per year). As one of the trafficker says in the movie: “It’s not personal, it’s just trade”, those people don’t have any scruple to use other people as an object, a stock to sell. They are well organized (corruption,  money laundry, mafia) it takes years to crack their system down. And even if one of those traffic is dismantled, ten groups, worst than those before is raised. HUMAN TRAFFICKING AWARENESS TRAININGOver 2 million people are trafficked per year. Their victims are young girls and children. Internet is one of their means to attract them. And there are some who kidnap children too.  The 96 hours mentioned in the movie is also true : once you’re out of the country you were kidnapped, it’s almost impossible to find you. Their network extend all over the world : Europe, US, Mexico, Asia, Africa, everywhere. Unfortunately, if you travel alone, your missing may be not declare only after the 96 hours.

 

 

 In  Madagascar, the trafficking most deal with children. There were several times when in the news papers, we can read an article about a child kidnapped. Report from an US investigation says that family members, taxi drivers, friends, tourist guides can sometimes an accessory to the trafficking, due to our poverty.  Knowing those injustice, I am so for the death penalty. My advice is to be careful : do not trust easily people you just met.  

 

 

Other movies about human Trafficking : images1

 Human Trafficking (2005)

directed by Christian Duguay,

with Mira Sorvino, Robert Carlyle