The Chanda’s Secret’s novel and Blood Diamond movie are both unique presentations of international integration’s effects. They focus on Africa specifically, and the experiences a citizen in these areas may face. Though there is evident variance in their more specific themes and subjects, each seems to give a negative perspective on the focus.
Chanda’s Secrets was written by Allan Stratton after an excursion to Africa for information. It’s based primarily around the lives of teenaged Chanda and her mother. In the beginning, it’s explained that a father and two older brothers once existed, but were killed in a mining accident. The main theme in this plotline is shame, specifically characterized by the aids pandemic in Africa. Throughout, the reader learns of several other unfortunate deaths with varied explanation. However, almost every instance’s cause of death turned out to be untrue; an attempt to prevent a negative reputation from the flow of aids in a family being the reason. Nonetheless, one is able to infer the importance of a positive perception to one’s self, and the challenges he or she would be willing to pursue.
Blood Diamond bases on the life of protagonist Daniel Archer, an Anglo-African ex-mercenary from Zimbabwe. Initially, sub-protagonist Solomon Vandy and his son, Dia, are caught in an attack by the Revolutionary United Front rebel group. Vandy is forced to work in a nearby diamond mine under command of psychopath Captain Poison, while Dia is brainwashed into being a killer. Though the diamonds mined are for exportation to purchase weaponry, Vandy mines a very valuable piece and buries it successfully. The rest of the story follows Archer in a quest to obtain this valuable artifact and use the funds to escape Sierra Leone. The primary theme here is greed, more specifically the lack of disgust for the source of conflict diamonds by their retailing company, DeBeers, and consumers. Many believe the disclaimer at the beginning of the film stating that the events were outdated and fictional was paid to be displayed.
Chanda’s Secrets and Blood Diamond have similar objectives but different presentation styles. The first is much more relaxed, which has advantages and disadvantages. Firstly, too much action distracts from plotline, as suggested by critic Kyle Smith, saying “Blood Diamond’s awkward mix of action and messages cancel each other out”. However, action can also give urgency to a topic. The deeper theme of each is slightly different, as well. Shame is briefly mentioned in Blood Diamond similarly to how greed is in Chanda’s Secrets. The diamond mine is also a side topic in the novel while HIV/Aids was once referenced in the movie. This aside, both focus on Africa, both give a negative perspective, much death is included in each and both end tragically. Clearly, each successfully conveys an important and often unseen view on the matter.
Overall, it’s important to gain knowledge on these presentations. They show an angle often hidden commercially. Though I personally have many criticisms for each and did not particularity enjoy either, I understand their importance. Hopefully, the messages each give will have an effect on society.