I just saw “Blood Diamond” last night, a great film by the way.

It’s Edward Zwick return to the elegant simplicity of “Glory” and departure from the boisterous frivolity of “The Last Samurai.” I’d always hoped Zwick would recapture his talent, a mature director with a steady hand and a pure understanding of the fundamentals, he really is the closest thing we have to John Frankenheimer and that may seem old fashioned, but then watching a sunset is also old fashioned.

The cast is mostly superb (mostly because Jennifer Connelly is always struggling to keep up) and I can see why Djimon Hounsou deserved his Oscar nomination, but that’s enough from the old film critic Shaminder, this is a blog about photojournalism after all.

While watching the film I was reminded of a photo essay I saw a few months ago.

Kadir Van Lohuizen’s essay shot in high contrast to capture the raw light of those affected follows the journey of conflict diamonds, a connotatively spun way of saying diamonds that are bore out of the corpses of a native population.

And while it may not be the flashy multimedia presentations we’re become accustomed to, it still has merit and is worth the trip. There’s also two other versions of the story on his website, but since it’s a flash production, I cannot direct link to it, but take a look and you’ll see it, trust me, it’s worth the effort.

From the earth to the hand.

While the western world is making three months last forever, the diamond originating countries are learning to live forever without an arm or a leg, or a mother or a sister, or land or home. It’s ridiculous that we put so much value on a natural stone and turn a blind eye to the lives that rock changed.

Nas was right, “The stone’s equality, but they homes are poverty/And the whole world ignores the robbery/Bought my girl pretty rocks when she’s mad at me”