The Caucasus or Caucasia is an area situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and occupied by Russia, Georgia and Armenia. It is home to the Caucasus Mountains, including the Greater Caucasus mountain range, considered a natural barrier between Eastern Europe and Western Asia. Europe's highest mountain, Mount Elbrus, at 5,642 metres is located in the west part of the Greater Caucasus mountain range. On the southern side, the Lesser Caucasus includes the Javakheti Plateau and grows into the Armenian highlands, part of, located in Turkey; the Caucasus region is separated into northern and southern parts – the North Caucasus and Transcaucasus, respectively. The Greater Caucasus mountain range in the north is within the Russian Federation, while the Lesser Caucasus mountain range in the south is occupied by several independent states, namely Georgia, Armenia and the recognised Artsakh Republic; the region is known for its linguistic diversity: aside from Indo-European and Turkic languages, the Kartvelian, Northwest Caucasian, Northeast Caucasian families are indigenous to the area.
The term Caucasus is not only used for the mountains themselves but includes Ciscaucasia and Transcaucasia. According to Alexander Mikaberidze, Transcaucasia is a "Russo-centric" term. Pliny the Elder's Natural History derives the name of the Caucasus from Scythian kroy-khasis. German linguist Paul Kretschmer notes that the Latvian word Kruvesis means "ice". In the Tale of Past Years, it is stated that Old East Slavic Кавкасийскыѣ горы came from Ancient Greek Καύκασος ), according to M. A. Yuyukin, is a compound word that can be interpreted as the "Seagull's Mountain" According to German philologists Otto Schrader and Alfons A. Nehring, the Ancient Greek word Καύκασος is connected to Gothic Hauhs as well as Lithuanian Kaũkas and Kaukarà. British linguist Adrian Room points out that Kau- means "mountain" in Pelasgian; the Transcaucasus region and Dagestan were the furthest points of Parthian and Sasanian expansions, with areas to the north of the Greater Caucasus range impregnable. The mythological Mount Qaf, the world's highest mountain that ancient Iranian lore shrouded in mystery, was said to be situated in this region.
In Middle Persian sources of the Sasanian era, the Caucasus range was referred to as Kaf Kof. The term resurfaced in Iranian tradition on in a variant form when Ferdowsi, in his Shahnameh, referred to the Caucasus mountains as Kōh-i Kāf. "Most of the modern names of the Caucasus originate from the Greek Kaukasos and the Middle Persian Kaf Kof"."The earliest etymon" of the name Caucasus comes from Kaz-kaz, the Hittite designation of the "inhabitants of the southern coast of the Black Sea". It was noted that in Nakh Ков гас means "gateway to steppe" The modern name for the region is similar in the many languages, is between Kavkaz and Kawkaz; the North Caucasus region is known as the Ciscaucasus, whereas the South Caucasus region is known as the Transcaucasus. The Ciscaucasus contains most of the Greater Caucasus mountain range, it consists of Southern Russia the North Caucasian Federal District's autonomous republics, the northernmost parts of Georgia and Azerbaijan. The Ciscaucasus lies between the Black Sea to its west, the Caspian Sea to its east, borders the Southern Federal District to its north.
The two Federal Districts are collectively referred to as "Southern Russia." The Transcaucasus borders the Greater Caucasus range and Southern Russia to its north, the Black Sea and Turkey to its west, the Caspian Sea to its east, Iran to its south. It contains surrounding lowlands. All of Armenia and Georgia are in the South Caucasus; the watershed along the Greater Caucasus range is perceived to be the dividing line between Europe and Southwest Asia. The highest peak in the Caucasus is Mount Elbrus located in western Ciscaucasus, is considered as the highest point in Europe; the Caucasus is one of the culturally diverse regions on Earth. The nation states that comprise the Caucasus today are the post-Soviet states Georgia, Azerbaijan and the Russian Federation; the Russian divisions include Dagestan, Ingushetia, North Ossetia–Alania, Kabardino–Balkaria, Karachay–Cherkessia, Krasnodar Krai and Stavropol Krai, in clockwise order. Three territories in the region claim independence but are recognized as such by only a handful entities: Artsakh and South Ossetia.
Abkhazia and South Ossetia are recognized by the world community as part of Georgia, Artsakh as part of Azerbaijan. The region has language families. There are more than 50 ethnic groups living in the region. No fewer than three language families are unique to the area. In addition, Indo-European languages, such as Armenian and Ossetian, Turkic languages, such as Azerbaijani, Kumyk language and Karachay–Balkar, are spoken in the area. Russian is used as a lingua franca most notably in the North Caucasus; the peoples of the northern and southern Caucasus tend to be either Sunni Muslims, Eastern Orthodox Christians and Armenian Christians. Twelver Shi'
Djivan Gasparyan is an Armenian musician and composer. He plays a double reed woodwind instrument related to the orchestral oboe. Gasparyan is known as the "Master of the duduk". Born in Solak, Armenia to parents from Mush, Gasparyan started to play duduk. In 1948, he became a soloist of the Armenian Song and Dance Popular Ensemble and the Yerevan Philharmonic Orchestra, he has won four medals at UNESCO worldwide competitions. In 1973 Gasparyan was awarded the honorary title People's Artist of Armenia. In 2002, he received the WOMEX Lifetime Achievement Award. A professor at the Yerevan State Musical Conservatory, he has instructed and nurtured many performers to professional levels of performance in duduk. In 1998 he released an album with a unique duduk quartet he formed. Creating arrangements for 4 musicians with "new duduk tones and bass, was an difficult task" and challenge, but the quartet did become a reality performing and "there is no other like it in the world", he witnessed in the lines notes of Nazeli.
He has toured the world several times with a small ensemble playing Armenian folk music. His music has been chosen on the soundtrack of several international films, he has collaborated with many artists, such as Sting, Peter Gabriel, Hossein Alizadeh, Erkan Ogur, Michael Brook, Brian May, Lionel Richie, Derek Sherinian, Ludovico Einaudi, Luigi Cinque, Boris Grebenshchikov, Brian Eno, David Sylvian, Hans Zimmer and Andreas Vollenweider. He recorded with the Kronos quartet and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Gasparyan played as part of the Armenian entry "Apricot Stone" by Eva Rivas at the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo and became the oldest person to feature in a Eurovision Song Contest performance, but was not listed as a guest artist. Duduk. Armenian folk songs I Will Not Be Sad in This World Moon Shines at Night Ask Me No Questions Apricots From Eden Salute Black Rock, with Michael Brook Djivan Gasparyan Quartet - Nazeli Heavenly Duduk Armenian Fantasies Nazani Fuad, with Erkan Ogur In My World, I Have No Pain Endless Vision: Persian And Armenian Songs, with Hossein Alizadeh Nectar for the Bitter World The Soul of Armenia Penumbra, with Michael Brook Collaborations as guest artist Dead Bees On A Cake, David Sylvian.
Azerbaijan the Republic of Azerbaijan, is a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west and Iran to the south; the exclave of Nakhchivan is bounded by Armenia to the north and east, Iran to the south and west, has an 11 km long border with Turkey in the northwest. The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic proclaimed its independence in 1918 and became the first democratic Muslim state. In 1920 the country was incorporated into the Soviet Union as the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic; the modern Republic of Azerbaijan proclaimed its independence on 30 August 1991, shortly before the dissolution of the USSR in the same year. In September 1991, the Armenian majority of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region seceded to form the Republic of Artsakh; the region and seven adjacent districts outside it became de facto independent with the end of the Nagorno-Karabakh War in 1994.
These regions are internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan pending a solution to the status of the Nagorno-Karabakh through negotiations facilitated by the OSCE. Azerbaijan is a unitary semi-presidential republic, it is one of six independent Turkic states and an active member of the Turkic Council and the TÜRKSOY community. Azerbaijan has diplomatic relations with 158 countries and holds membership in 38 international organizations, including the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the Non-Aligned Movement, the OSCE, the NATO Partnership for Peace program, it is one of the founding members of GUAM, the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Azerbaijan holds observer status in the World Trade Organization. While more than 89% of the population is Shia Muslim, the Constitution of Azerbaijan does not declare an official religion and all major political forces in the country are secularist. Azerbaijan has a high level of human development that ranks on par with most Eastern European countries.
It has a high rate of economic literacy, as well as a low rate of unemployment. However, the ruling party, the New Azerbaijan Party, has been accused of authoritarianism and human rights abuses. According to a modern etymology, the term Azerbaijan derives from that of Atropates, a Persian satrap under the Achaemenid Empire, reinstated as the satrap of Media under Alexander the Great; the original etymology of this name is thought to have its roots in the once-dominant Zoroastrianism. In the Avesta's Frawardin Yasht, there is a mention of âterepâtahe ashaonô fravashîm ýazamaide, which translates from Avestan as "we worship the fravashi of the holy Atropatene." The name "Atropates" itself is the Greek transliteration of an Old Iranian Median, compounded name with the meaning "Protected by the Fire" or "The Land of the Fire". The Greek name was mentioned by Diodorus Strabo. Over the span of millennia, the name evolved to Āturpātākān to Ādharbādhagān, Ādharbāyagān, Āzarbāydjān and present-day Azerbaijan.
The name Azerbaijan was first adopted for the area of the present-day Republic of Azerbaijan by the government of Musavat in 1918, after the collapse of the Russian Empire, when the independent Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was established. Until the designation had been used to identify the adjacent region of contemporary northwestern Iran, while the area of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was referred to as Arran and Shirvan. On that basis Iran protested the newly adopted country name. During the Soviet rule, the country was spelled in English from the Russian transliteration as Azerbaydzhan; the earliest evidence of human settlement in the territory of Azerbaijan dates back to the late Stone Age and is related to the Guruchay culture of Azokh Cave. The Upper Paleolithic and late Bronze Age cultures are attested in the caves of Tağılar, Damcılı, Yataq-yeri and in the necropolises of Leylatepe and Saraytepe. Early settlements included the Scythians in the 9th century BC. Following the Scythians, Iranian Medes came to dominate the area to the south of the Aras.
The Medes forged a vast empire between 900–700 BC, integrated into the Achaemenid Empire around 550 BC. The area was conquered by the Achaemenids leading to the spread of Zoroastrianism, it became part of Alexander the Great's Empire and its successor, the Seleucid Empire. During this period, Zoroastrianism spread in the Atropatene. Caucasian Albanians, the original inhabitants of northeastern Azerbaijan, ruled that area from around the 4th century BC, established an independent kingdom; the Sasanian Empire turned Caucasian Albania into a vassal state in 252, while King Urnayr adopted Christianity as the state religion in the 4th century. Despite Sassanid rule, Albania remained an entity in the region until the 9th century, while subordinate to Sassanid Iran, retained its monarchy. Despite being one of the chief vassals of the Sasanian emperor, the Albanian king had only a semblance of authority, the Sasanian marzban held most civil and military authority. In the first half of the 7th century, Caucasian Albania, as a vassal of the Sasanians, came under nominal Muslim rule due to the Muslim conquest of Persia.
The Umayyad Caliphate repulsed both the Sasanians and Byzantines from Transcaucasia and turned Caucasian Albania into a vassal state after Christian resistance led by Kin
A reed is a thin strip of material that vibrates to produce a sound on a musical instrument. Most woodwind instrument reeds are made from synthetic material. Tuned reeds are made of metal or synthetics. Musical instruments are classified according to the number of reeds; the earliest types of single-reed instruments used idioglottal reeds, where the vibrating reed is a tongue cut and shaped on the tube of cane. Much single-reed instruments started using heteroglottal reeds, where a reed is cut and separated from the tube of cane and attached to a mouthpiece of some sort. By contrast, in an uncapped double reed instrument, there is no mouthpiece. Single reeds are used on the mouthpieces of saxophones; the back of the reed is flat and is placed against the mouthpiece, the rounded top side tapers to a thin tip. These reeds are rectangular in shape except for the thin vibrating tip, curved to match the curve of the mouthpiece tip. All single reeds are shaped but vary in size to fit each instrument's mouthpiece.
Reeds designed for the same instrument vary in thickness. Hardness is measured on a scale of 1 through 5 from softest to hardest; this is not a standardized scale and reed strengths vary by manufacturer. The thickness of the tip and heel and the profile in between affect the playability. Cane of different grades if cut with the same profile respond differently due to natural differences in cane fiber density; the cane used to make reeds for saxophone and other single-reed instruments grows in the southern coastal regions of France, Spain—and in the last 30 years, in the area of Cuyo in Argentina. After growers cut the cane, they lay it out in direct sunlight for about a month to dry, they rotate the cane to ensure and complete drying. Once dry, growers store the cane in a warehouse; as reed production requires it, workers pull the cane from the warehouse and take it to the factory—to the cutting department, which cuts it into tubes and grades the tubes by diameter and wall density. They cut the tubes into splits, make those into reed blanks.
They profile the blanks into reeds using blades or CNC machines. A machine grades completed completed reeds for strength. Double reeds are used on the oboe, oboe d'amore, English horn, bass oboe, bassoon, sarrusophone, bagpipes and shehnai, they are not used in conjunction with a mouthpiece. However, in the case of the crumhorn and Rauschpfeife, a reed cap that contains an airway is placed over the reeds and blown without the reeds coming in contact with the player's mouth. Reed strengths are graded from hard to soft; the making of double reeds begins in the same way as. The cane is collected from Arundo donax, dried and cut down to manageable sizes for reed-making. Similar to single reed production, the cane is separated into various diameters; the most common diameters for American-style oboe reeds are as follows: 9.5–10 mm, 10–10.5 mm, 10.5–11 mm. Many American oboists prefer a specific diameter at one time of the year and a different diameter at other times, depending on the season and the weather.
They split the tubes into three equal parts, picking out the pieces that are not warped. A reed made from a piece of warped tube cane won't vibrate on both sides, affecting the sound. After the cane is split, the pieces are gouged in a gouging machine to remove many cane layers to drastically decrease thickness; this eases the scraping process for the reed-maker, helps maintain sharper knives. Reed makers not only learn to master reed making, but learn how to sharpen knives with great skill; the gouged pieces of cane soaked and "shaped" on a shaper with razor blades and allowed to dry before the final steps. The shaped piece of cane is re-soaked and tied onto a "staple" for oboe reeds and formed on a mandrel for bassoon reeds. Bassoon reeds are wrapped with nylon thread or cotton thread, depending on the musician's preference. Oboe reeds are most tied with nylon thread. Finishing both bassoon and oboe reeds requires the reed-maker to scrape along the cane section of the reed with a scraping knife to specific dimensions and lengths depending on the reed style and the musician's preference.
Bassoon and oboe reeds are finished when the reeds play in tune or can make a sufficient "crow"-like noise. Quadruple reed instruments have two on top and two on bottom. Examples of this include an archetypal instrument from India, the Shehnai, as well as the Pi from Thailand, the Cambodian Sralai. Having four reeds instead of two produces a different tone and set of harmonics. There are two types of free reeds: framed and unframed. Framed free reeds are used on ancient Asian instruments such as the Chinese shēng, Japanese shō, Laotian khene, modern European instruments such as the harmonium or reed organ, concertina, bandoneón, Russian bayan; the reed is made from cane, brass or steel, is enclosed in a rigid frame. The pitch of the framed free reed is fixed; the ancient bullroarer is an unframed free reed made of a stone or wood board tied to a rope, swung around through the air to make a whistling sound. Another primitive unframed free-reed instrument is the leaf, used in some traditional Chinese music ensembles.
A leaf or long blade of grass is st
Martin Charles Scorsese is an American filmmaker and historian, whose career spans more than 50 years. Scorsese's body of work addresses such themes as Italian and Sicilian-American identity, Roman Catholic concepts of guilt and redemption, machismo, modern crime, gang conflict. Many of his films are known for their depiction of violence and liberal use of profanity. Part of the New Hollywood wave of filmmaking, he is regarded as one of the most significant and influential filmmakers in cinematic history. In 1990, he founded The Film Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to film preservation, in 2007 he founded the World Cinema Foundation, he is a recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award for his contributions to the cinema, has won an Academy Award, a Palme d'Or, Cannes Film Festival Best Director Award, Silver Lion, Grammy Award, Golden Globes, BAFTAs, Directors Guild of America Awards. He has directed works such as the crime film Mean Streets, the vigilante-thriller Taxi Driver, the biographical sports drama Raging Bull, the black comedies The King of Comedy, After Hours, the religious epic drama The Last Temptation of Christ, the crime film Goodfellas, the psychological thriller Cape Fear and the crime film Casino, some of which he collaborated on with actor and close friend Robert De Niro.
Scorsese has been noted for his successful collaborations with actor Leonardo DiCaprio, having directed him in five films, beginning with Gangs of New York and most The Wolf of Wall Street. Their third film together, The Departed, won Scorsese the Academy Award for Best Director in addition to the film winning the award for Best Picture, their collaborations have resulted in numerous Academy Award nominations for both as well as them winning several other prestigious awards. Scorsese's other film work includes the biographical drama The Aviator, the psychological thriller Shutter Island, the historical adventure drama Hugo and the religious epic Silence, his work in television includes the pilot episodes of the HBO series Boardwalk Empire and Vinyl, the latter of which he co-created. With eight Best Director Oscar nominations, he is the most nominated living director and is tied with Billy Wilder for the second-most nominations overall; as a fan of rock music, he has directed several documentaries on the subject, including The Last Waltz, No Direction Home, Shine a Light, George Harrison: Living in the Material World.
Scorsese was born on November 1942, in New York City's Queens borough. His family moved to Little Italy, his father, Charles Scorsese, mother, Catherine Scorsese, both worked in New York's Garment District. His father was a clothes presser and an actor, his mother was a seamstress and an actress, his father's parents emigrated from Polizzi Generosa, in the province of Palermo and his maternal grandparents were from Palermo from Ciminna. Scorsese was raised in a devoutly Catholic environment; as a boy, he had asthma and could not play sports or do any activities with other children, so his parents and his older brother would take him to movie theaters. As a teenager in the Bronx, Scorsese rented Powell and Pressburger's The Tales of Hoffmann from a store that had one copy of the reel. Scorsese was one of only two people who rented that reel. Scorsese has cited Victor Mature as his favorite actors during his youth, he has spoken of the influence of the 1947 Powell and Pressburger film Black Narcissus, whose innovative techniques impacted his filmmaking.
Enamored of historical epics in his adolescence, at least two films of the genre, Land of the Pharaohs and El Cid, appear to have had a deep and lasting impact on his cinematic psyche. Scorsese developed an admiration for neorealist cinema at this time, he recounted its influence in a documentary on Italian neorealism, commented on how Bicycle Thieves alongside Paisà, Open City inspired him and how this influenced his view or portrayal of his Sicilian roots. In his documentary, Il Mio Viaggio in Italia, Scorsese noted that the Sicilian episode of Roberto Rossellini's Paisà, which he first saw on television alongside his relatives, who were themselves Sicilian immigrants, made a significant impact on his life, he acknowledges owing a great debt to the French New Wave and has stated that "the French New Wave has influenced all filmmakers who have worked since, whether they saw the films or not." He has cited filmmakers including Satyajit Ray, Ingmar Bergman, Michelangelo Antonioni, Federico Fellini as a major influence on his career.
His initial desire to become a priest attending preparatory seminary but failing after the first year while attending Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx gave way to cinema and Scorsese enrolled in NYU's Washington Square College, where he earned a B. A. in English in 1964. He went on to earn his M. F. A. from NYU's School of the Arts in 1966, a year after the school was founded. Scorsese attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts making the short films What's a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This? and It's Not Just You, Murray!. His most famous short of the period is the darkly comic The Big Shave; the film is
In western music theory, a diatonic scale is a heptatonic scale that includes five whole steps and two half steps in each octave, in which the two half steps are separated from each other by either two or three whole steps, depending on their position in the scale. This pattern ensures that, in a diatonic scale spanning more than one octave, all the half steps are maximally separated from each other; the seven pitches of any diatonic scale can be obtained by using a chain of six perfect fifths. For instance, the seven natural pitches that form the C-major scale can be obtained from a stack of perfect fifths starting from F: F—C—G—D—A—E—BAny sequence of seven successive natural notes, such as C–D–E–F–G–A–B, any transposition thereof, is a diatonic scale. Modern musical keyboards are designed so that the white notes form a diatonic scale, though transpositions of this diatonic scale require one or more black keys. A diatonic scale can be described as two tetrachords separated by a whole tone.
The term diatonic referred to the diatonic genus, one of the three genera of the ancient Greeks. In musical set theory, Allen Forte classifies diatonic scales as set form 7–35; this article does not concern alternative seven-note diatonic scales such as the harmonic minor or the melodic minor. Western music from the Middle Ages until the late 19th century is based on the diatonic scale and the unique hierarchical relationships created by this system of organizing seven notes. There is one claim that the 45,000-year-old Divje Babe Flute uses a diatonic scale, but there is no proof or consensus it is a musical instrument. There is evidence that the Babylonians used some version of the diatonic scale; this derives from surviving inscriptions that contain musical composition. Despite the conjectural nature of reconstructions of the piece known as the Hurrian songs from the surviving score, the evidence that it used the diatonic scale is much more soundly based; this is because instructions for tuning the scale involve tuning a chain of six fifths, so that the corresponding circle of seven major and minor thirds are all consonant-sounding, this is a recipe for tuning a diatonic scale.
9,000-year-old flutes found in Jiahu, China indicate the evolution, over a period of 1,200 years, of flutes having 4, 5 and 6 holes to having 7 and 8 holes, the latter exhibiting striking similarity to diatonic hole spacings and sounds. The scales corresponding to the medieval church modes were diatonic. Depending on which of the seven notes of the diatonic scale you use as the beginning, the positions of the intervals fall at different distances from the starting tone, producing seven different scales. One of these, the one starting on B, has no pure fifth above its reference note: it is for this reason that it was not used. Of the six remaining scales, two were described as corresponding to two others with a B♭ instead of a B♮: A–B–C–D–E–F–G–A was described as D–E–F–G–A–B♭–C–D C–D–E–F–G–A–B–C was described as F–G–A–B♭–C–D–E–F As a result, medieval theory described the church modes as corresponding to four diatonic scales only. Heinrich Glarean considered that the modal scales including a B♭ had to be the result of a transposition.
In his Dodecachordon, he not only described six "natural" diatonic scales, but six "transposed" ones, each including a B♭, resulting in the total of twelve scales that justified the title of his treatise. By the beginning of the Baroque period, the notion of musical key was established, describing additional possible transpositions of the diatonic scale. Major and minor scales came to dominate until at least the start of the 20th century because their intervallic patterns are suited to the reinforcement of a central triad; some church modes survived into the early 18th century, as well as appearing in classical and 20th-century music, jazz. Of Glarean's six natural scales, three are major scales, three are minor. To these may be added the seventh diatonic scale, with a diminished fifth above the reference note, the Locrian scale; these could be transposed not only to include one flat in the signature, but to all twelve notes of the chromatic scale, resulting in a total of eighty-four diatonic scales.
The modern musical keyboard originated as a diatonic keyboard with only white keys. The black keys were progressively added for several purposes: improving the consonances the thirds, by providing a major third on each degree; the pattern of elementary intervals forming the diatonic scale can be represented either by the letters T and S respectively. With this abbreviation, major scale, for instance, can be represented as T–T–S–T–T–T–S The major scale or Ionian scale is one of the diatonic scales, it is made up plus an eighth that duplicates the first an octave higher. The pattern of seven intervals separating the eight notes is T–T–S–T–T–T–S. In solfege, the syllables used to name each degree of the scale are Do–Re–Mi–Fa–Sol–La–Ti–Do. A sequence of successive natural notes starting from C is an example of major scale, called C-major scale; the eight degrees of the scale are known by traditiona
Blood Diamond is a 2006 German-American political war thriller film co-produced and directed by Edward Zwick, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Connelly, Djimon Hounsou. The title refers to blood diamonds, which are diamonds mined in war zones and sold to finance conflicts, thereby profit warlords and diamond companies across the world. Set during the Sierra Leone Civil War in 1991–2002, the film depicts a country torn apart by the struggle between government loyalists and insurgent forces, it portrays many of the atrocities of that war, including the rebels' amputation of people's hands to discourage them from voting in upcoming elections. The film's ending, in which a conference is held concerning blood diamonds, refers to a historic meeting that took place in Kimberley, South Africa, in 2000, it led to development of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, which sought to certify the origin of rough diamonds in order to curb the trade in conflict diamonds, but has since been abandoned as ineffective.
The film received mixed but favorable reviews, with praise directed to the performances of DiCaprio and Hounsou. It is 1999 and Sierra Leone is ravaged by major political unrest. Rebel factions such as the Revolutionary United Front terrorize the countryside, intimidating Mende locals and enslaving many to harvest diamonds, which fund their successful war effort. One such unfortunate local is fisherman Solomon Vandy from Shenge, separated from his family and assigned to a workforce overseen by Captain Poison, a ruthless warlord. One morning, Vandy discovers an enormous diamond in the river. Captain Poison tries to take the stone, but the area is raided by government troops. Vandy buries the stone before being captured. Both Vandy and Poison are incarcerated in Freetown, along with Danny Archer, a white Rhodesian gunrunner jailed while trying to smuggle diamonds into Liberia, they were intended for a corrupt South African mining executive. Hearing of the pink diamond in prison, Archer arranges for himself and Vandy to be freed from detention.
He travels to Cape Town to meet his employer: Colonel Coetzee, an Afrikaner with the apartheid-era South African Defence Force, who now commands a private military company. Archer wants the diamond so he can sell it and leave the continent forever, but Coetzee wants it as compensation for Archer's botched smuggling mission. Archer returns to Sierra Leone, locates Vandy, offers to help him find his family if he will help recover the diamond. Meanwhile, RUF insurgents escalate hostilities. Archer and Vandy narrowly escape to Lungi, where they plan to reach Kono with an American journalist, Maddy Bowen; the trio arrive in Kono after a harrowing journey, where Coetzee and his private army—contracted by the Sierra Leone government—prepare to repulse the rebel offensive. While Maddy gets out with her story, the two men set out for Captain Poison's encampment. Dia, stationed with the RUF garrison there, is confronted by Vandy, but having been brainwashed he refuses to acknowledge his father. Archer radios the site's coordinates to Coetzee, who directs a combined air and ground assault on the camp.
Coetzee forces Vandy to produce the diamond, but is killed by Archer, who realizes Coetzee would kill them both. Dia holds the pair at gunpoint, but Vandy confronts him again and renews their bond. Pursued by vengeful mercenaries, Archer discloses he has been mortally wounded and entrusts the stone to Vandy, telling him to take it for his family. Vandy and his son rendezvous with Archer's pilot, who flies them to safety while Archer makes a final phone call to Maddy. Archer takes in the beautiful African landscape before dying. Vandy meets with a van de Kaap representative. Maddy takes photographs of the deal to publish in her article on the diamond trade, exposing van de Kaap's criminal actions. Vandy appears as a guest speaker at a conference on "blood diamonds" in Kimberley, is met with a standing ovation; as many as 40 countries signed this agreement to handle the sale of illegal diamonds. However, it is up to the buyer to buy diamonds that are free from conflict. Charles Leavitt was hired by Warner Bros. in February 2004 to rewrite an early draft of the film titled Okavango.
The story had been stuck in "development hell" at the studio for years before producers Paula Weinstein and Gillian Gorfil decided on the story of an African farmer caught up in the conflict between an American smuggler and the local diamond mining organization. Leavitt researched the diamond industry at great length before he began writing the screenplay, explaining that he has "always been a stickler for immersing in research", he wrote the film with the assumption that it would offend the diamond industry De Beers, so made sure to portray the industry truthfully, aware that he could be sued by De Beers and other powerful mining corporations. Paula Weinstein was impressed by Leavitt's Blood Diamond draft, but hired writers Ed Z