Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Blood Diamonds

Movies are piled up all over my living room tables because I just can't seem to set aside 2 hours in a row to sit and watch them. Blood Diamond was top on the list only because it was overdue at the library. My friend Don and I opened a bottle of wine, made some guacamole and finally sat down Sunday to watch. What a disappointment! (at least Don's guacamole was great)

While we both decided that the movie was over rated, it did precipitate a long discussion about the civil war in Sierra Leone and raised many questions about when, who, how long, etc. Much to this librarian's dismay, Don went to Wikipedia, the bane of our existence, and did manage to get some factual information. I, on the other hand, went to the library catalog to look up a new book I'd read about, a memoir by Ishmael Beah who was actually a child soldier conscripted to fight at the age of 13 in Sierra Leone's revolution. I expect this to be a devastating but important read as we struggle to understand how younger and younger men and women, especially in the middle east, are brainwashed into strapping bombs to their bodies and blowing themselves, and innocent bystanders, to bloody bits.

The book is called A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. It's available in audio format too. If you want to get a feel for Mr. Beah and what the book is about you can hear his interview with Terry Gross on NPR:

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