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DiCaprio movie takes the shine off diamonds

Diamonds may not be for ever. Gem merchants are concerned that a new Hollywood film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and exposing the violent underworld of  “conflict diamonds” may dim their glittering reputation.

The Oscar-nominated actor has signed up to make The Blood Diamond, in which he will portray a smuggler embroiled in the civil war in Sierra Leone, where guerrillas systematically mutilate miners to enforce their grip on the west African nation’s export trade.

DiCaprio took the role after speaking to experts from Survival International, the London-based human rights organisation whose lobbying also influenced the rapper Kanye West to compose his recent hit single Diamonds from Sierra Leone.

De Beers, which has dominated the trade in diamonds since 1930, has expressed misgivings about the film, which will start shooting next spring.

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