87 mins. 2007. Language: English/Krio.
BLING is a 90-minute film that will take a satirical, yet hard-hitting look at how “blinging” in the flashy world of commercial hip-hop played a role in the 10-year civil war in Sierra Leone, West Africa. The term “bling” refers to the shine emanating from polished diamonds has become a status symbol for hip-hop luminaries and fans alike seeking validation within its materially driven circles.
BLING will link the viewers in the U.S. with the residents of Sierra Leone by using a hip-hop point of view. The war spilled over from neighboring Liberia into Sierra Leone and was led by Foday Sankoh and his Revolutionary United Front (RUF), a group of genocidal rebels comprised largely of abducted children as young as seven, and fueled by “conflict” or “blood” diamonds.
In BLING, three hip-hop celebrities-Raekwon, Paul wall and reggaetón king Tego Calderon-will visit the capital of Freetown to survey the community as a whole. These hip-hop superstars will meet the hip-hop community there, refugees and former child soldiers living in the country. They will hear first-hand accounts of the atrocities suffered at the hands of the rebels that included rape, torture and amputation. We will capture hip-hop's reaction to the human violations, the complexities that still exist there and bring global awareness via the dominant voice of youth all over the world-hip-hop.
Sponsored by The African Film Festival of New York.