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Depiction of Violence in Movies

Updated on September 7, 2019
Hadia Malik profile image

I am doing my Bachelors in Peace and Conflict Studies from National Defense University Islamabad

Blood Diamonds


Blood Diamonds was based on the true story of the 11-year conflict in Siera Leone regarding blood diamonds, also known as conflict diamonds because they were mined in rebel-controlled areas which were not approved by the government. These diamonds were mined by rebels in Sierra Leone and were given to smugglers in exchange for arms. These diamonds were smuggled into Liberia from where they were sold to international markets really cheap. These blood diamonds were then mixed with millions of clean diamonds and then turned into jewellery and sold across the world for a lot of money. In a way, government, army, rebels and the international community all together had the blood of miners on their hands. Revolutionary United Front rebels patrolled through downtown Freetown on June 7, 1997, and caused severe brutality and human rights abuses against civilians.


It is a story of a fisherman (Solomon Vandy) who is in pursuit of his son who was taken by RUF (revolutionary united front) as a child soldier. He develops an unusual friendship with a South African smuggler (Danny Archer) who along with the help with Maddy Bowen, a peace journalist, helps Vandy get to his family as well as recover a rare stone that helps them turn their lives around.

In the beginning, Solomon is the one taken by RUF to work in the diamond mines where he finds a giant 100K pink diamond. Danny Archer is originally helping him in the greed of the diamond, which he believes will be his ticket out of this “godforsaken land”. However, in the movie, his character develops from a selfish to a selfless person. He sacrifices his life to help Vandy achieve his well-deserved freedom as well as free his son from being a child soldier for the RUF. Vandy then gains international support and eventually is the one who begins to end the international conflict diamond industry.

How it Depicts Violence

Throughout the movie, severe bloodshed is shown throughout the movie where innocent people are murdered at the hands of lust. Lust for valuable goods like gold, ivory, oil and diamonds. There is so much bloodshed that Colonel Coetzee, Danny’s superior says:

This red earth, it’s in our skin. The shone says the colour comes from all the blood that’s been spilt fighting over the land.”

This dialogue signified how much blood must have been spilt to achieve the colour of the soil. All acts of violence were justified by the saying “TIA” or “this is Africa” as in since it is Africa every act of violence is justified without any repercussions.

Africa is depicted as hell, in a scene Captain Poison, the leader of RUF says:

You think I am the devil, but only because I live in hell

This dialogue is especially significant because it shows that the scenario in Africa has deteriorated so much that it has become a clear depiction of hell. In another instance Vandy screams:

You devils have taken my family, my home, my everything

Again showing how the land is hell and the people has become devils. Danny Archer also said:

God left this place a long time ago

This was his way of saying there is no hope left for this land.

Vandy’s son, while taken captive by the RUF has been brainwashed into thinking anyone against the RUF is a traitor which brings him to a scene where he calls his own father a traitor. He has lost all memory of his family. However at the end when Dia (Vandy’s son) is holding his father up at gunpoint, Vandy reminds him of the days before he was taken captive. he says:

“You’re a good boy who loves to go to school and play soccer”

As memories flood back, Dia lowers his gun and tears flow down his cheeks. This is the point in the movie where he finally remembers his father.



Raazi is a dramatized depiction of a real-life event. It is inspired by the book “Calling Sehmat”, written by the son of the Spy herself. It is a story of a young girl Sehmat, from Indian occupied Kashmir. Her father marries her off to the son of a Pakistan army officer. Although the Pakistani officer believes Sehmat’s father is an informant for the Pakistani army but it so turns out that he is a spy of RAW. After finding out that he is sick, he puts up his daughter to continue his work.

The movie shows how Sehmat gains the trust of her in-laws and swiftly takes out information from houses of generals and transfers it to the Indian intelligence. She becomes the reason why India wins the war of 1971. During this time she commits several murders which include the murder of her husband and his brother as well.

How it Depicts Violence

This movie is based on 1971, the time when Pakistan and India were to go to war. Thus it shows the hatred between the two countries and what lengths they are willing to go to end the enemy. Although this movie is supposedly based on true events however it doesn’t mean it is entirely accurate. It is a distorted depiction of history that shows one side to be rather foolish and undermined their capabilities (Pakistan) while glorified the other side a lot(India).

It shows the enmity of the two nations. It shows how both nations use spies as an asset to destroy the other nation. Sehmat has been inculcated with such deep patriotism for India that she begins to hate everything relating to Pakistan even her own Husband. She says in a scene:

“Watan k agay kuch bhi nahi, khud bhi nahi”

“Nothing comes before the nation, not even myself”

This dialogue shows how her nation is her first priority and even her life doesn’t matter when it comes to protecting her land. She is willing to sacrifice everything she loves and holds dear for her nation.

Freedom Writers


This movie is based on a true story. It is about the segregation problem and gang wars in America and how young adults fight with it daily. The story revolves around a white teacher who gets a job in a notorious school where the entire school is divided into groups or “gangs” based on race and ethnicity. The teacher, who at first has a hard time teaching the students anything, however, finds a way to unite them. She makes them realize they are not that different, the only thing that’s different is their colour, on the inside they are all the same human who has faced the same losses. She encourages them to write journals about their daily struggles and helps them fight through their problems as well as unite them.

How it Depicts Violence:

The whole story revolves around gang violence, riots and murders based on race. Throughout the movie, the children are shown to be suffering from trauma and trust issues. They claim to be in a war, where they don’t know when they’re next step will be the last. Marcus, one of the students says:

“I’d be lucky if I make it to 18, we in a war, we graduating every day because we ain’t afraid to die for our own. At least when you die for your own, you die with respect, you die a warrior”

This clearly shows how they are in constant threat of death and they believe protecting their own kind would earn them respect, while if you help some other race you are a traitor. When the teacher claims that the colour doesn’t matter, Eva another one of the students claims:

“It’s all about colour”

However later in the movie, the teacher shows the students how they are all struggling the same. She plans an activity where they have to step on a line if that event ever happened to them. The points that include gun violence, gathers almost all the students onto the line. It’s evident all of them have lost a couple of loved ones to gun violence.

In one scene there is a shoot down between a Latino gang and an Asian gang which leads to an Asian being murdered. However, when the latina girl testifies against her boyfriend in court, who killed the Asian guy, she faces a lot of violence from her own gang and family for “betrayal”.


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