TEL AVIV (Reuters) - "The Blood Diamond, a film in production starring Leonardo DiCaprio, could hurt diamond sales and the livelihoods of people in Africa, industry leaders warned on Tuesday.
The Warner Brothers film being shot in Africa shows how "conflict diamonds" financed bloody civil wars. DiCaprio portrays a mercenary jailed for smuggling in Sierra Leone, where a civil war lasting until 2002 killed 50,000 people...
In a press release issued in February, Warner Bros. Pictures said "The Blood Diamond", starring DiCaprio and Jennifer Connelly, had started production in South Africa and Mozambique. It did not say when it will be released and company officials could not be reached for comment. The unofficial IMDb movie database has the U.S. release date as January, 2007.
The diamond industry fears the movie could hurt sales, especially if it hits theatres around the end of the year during the peak holiday shopping season.
"The people that the movie is trying to help could be hurt the most if it's left without an explanation since livelihoods in Africa depend on income from diamonds," said Eli Izhakoff, chairman and CEO of the World Diamond Council (WDC).
"It will hurt them with a downturn in sales. It can have an adverse effect on all of Africa," Izhakoff said.
"Scuttle that movie or we'll shoot this