Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Blood Diamond

So this movie had a pretty good plot and was graphically powerful.

So one line from the movie resonated for me... when Solomon (Hounsou) is chatting with Archer (DiCaprio) and remembers something his grandfather had told him:

“Things were so much better when the white man was in control.”

And then I thought about Papua New Guinea, where "white man" was everyone else but the natives. When all the expatriates left, and left everything behind to the Papua New Guineans, things just fell apart. Nice little towns were we frolicked as kids, slowly became hubs of crime and corruption. Then Papua New Guinea suddenly became an unsafe place to live in. When I was a kid living in the Highlands, Papua New Guineans were simple and generally harmless people. Aside from occasional "hold ups" on less-trodden roads and news of "rascals" robbing some place, it was rather peaceful and uneventful. The natives would pretty much chew on their beetlenut and leave us alone. I remember the childlike innocence they had. When they emerged from their huts, saw the first white man come down from the sky (an Aussie explorer in a plane), they thought he was a god. They thought his poop was special. Seriously. This was captured on film, and we watched the footage in primary school. Seems the natives weren't quite ready to be left to their own devices, after being introduced to the trappings of the modern world by the expatriates. Sometimes I wonder if it were better that some places not be reached by the civilized world...

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