Saturday, May 05, 2007

Blood Diamond to be shown in Sierra Leone

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), together with the United States film company Warner Bros. Pictures, will host the screening of the film “Blood Diamond” – which depicts the bloody civil war that engulfed Sierra Leone in the 1990s – for the first time ever in Freetown, the West African country’s capital.
The movie, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly and Djimon Hounsou, has never been publicly shown in Sierra Leone, and up to 600 people are expected to attend the two free showings of the film on 8 and 9 May.
“It is wonderful to have the chance to make this story available to the people of Sierra Leone,” said the film’s director Ed Zwick. “After all, it is a story that belongs to them.”
WFP’s distinctive white and blue logo appears prominently in several of the film’s scenes, and the agency continues to provide food assistance to more than 300,000 people to help the country rebuild after a devastating decade-long civil war.
“‘Blood Diamond’ opened the world’s eyes to the tragic suffering endured by so many people across the country, as well as WFP’s work to help them,” said the agency’s Executive Director, Josette Sheeran. “It also brought into focus the extreme cruelty and tragedy of child soldiers.”
The movie realistically depicts aid operations, such as those undertaken by WFP in the 1990s to feed thousands who fled their homes to areas within their home country or to neighboring nations. During the conflict in Sierra Leone, WFP staff reported witnessing the dire humanitarian situation as well as unspeakable acts of violence and cruelty similar to those illustrated by the film.
“Sierra Leoneans can take great pride in the immense achievements since the end of the war,” Ms. Sheeran said.
Ms. Connelly and Mr. Hounsou have added their voices to the call to end hunger by participating in a public service announcement for WFP which has been broadcast around the world.

Link to Blood Diamond to be shown in Sierra Leone