Blood diamonds is an American film that was acted in Africa by Leonardo Dicaprio, Djimon Hounsou and Jennifer Connelly. The film is categorized as a political war thriller film, screened to show the war-ravaged Sierra Leone during the height of its civil and illegal smuggling of diamonds. The title "Blood Diamonds" is used to mean the diamonds that are mined illegally in war-torn countries, whereby the are not used in developing that country or citizens, but by warlords and a few corrupt individuals. Proceeds from illegal diamond mining and smuggling are meant for a few corrupt individuals including warlords in these war torn areas. The film depicts a power struggle between loyalist government forces and rebels who are fighting each other to control the country's mineral resources such as diamond. Set during the Sierra Leone war of 1996- 2001, the film shows how corrupt individuals from the business world can contribute in the civil wars to gain from the illegal trade.
Cognitive is the process by which a person acquires knowledge, formation of beliefs, decision making or solving problems psychologically. The cognitive process can be differentiated from emotional or volitional processes because they are involved in wanting and intending. The capacity of a person to use cognitive theory in making decisions is measured with intelligence quotient tests. Cognition as a term is used to refer to the mental and psychological processes that are involved in the process of a person gaining knowledge and comprehension. Different processes are involved in cognitive and they include knowing, thinking, judging, remembering and problem-solving CITATION ABa01 \l 1033 (Bandura, 2001). Other scholars argue that cognition is the world view of an individual regarding a particular issue that is either shown in a movie through acting or done physically and experienced by the individual affected.
Cognitive media theory is a tactic that film analysts use to analyses a film, and it bridges the historically segregated disciplines of film theory, philosophy and the psychological and neurosciences. Experts in the perspective of film theory have presented a considerable amount of work that uses prevailing empirical evidence of psychological phenomenon to inform the viewer's understanding the form of the film itself. Another important trick that film makers use to get the attention of the viewer is by making use of timing and movement of the viewers eye following a characters exit from the screen. Cognitive media theory experts explain that empirical psychology can also provide ways to test directly the insights generated by the theoretical study of a film such s blood diamonds CITATION MFi77 \l 1033 (Fishbein, 1977).
One feature of viewer cognition that a film producer can impact to shape viewer experience is the use and manipulation of how users pay attention to the film. Attention is the process of allocating processing resources to a certain point in space, an object or visual feature that results in an increase in information gathered by the senses of the person watching the film. The attention of the viewer is active in all sensory modalities, but the modalities most relevant to film are audio and visual. These are the major aspects captured in the film Blood Diamonds.
A film producer has the ability to direct visual responsiveness to a specific element within a scene in the film by cutting to a close-up; to an object within a shot by making its presentation in sharp focus; or by changing the direction of audio objects using off-screen sounds. The process of controlling what the viewer sees and what they do not see is a way for the film producer to direct viewer understanding and creates a movie drama from a scene that might be seen as ambiguous if it is showed theatrically as a single long unedited shot CITATION Ted14 \l 1033 (Nannicelli & Taberham, 2014).
The composition of a shot deciding what to include or exclude is the clearest example how the producers in the film aim to control and manipulate the viewers attention, by controlling where the viewers aim to look within a frame due to the limited visual acuity of the human eye. This are the features that have been used in the film Blood diamonds in order to show that the viewer uses cognitive approach to analyze the film. This film manipulates the viewer to an extent that it glues an individual to it by creating imaginary scenarios that are of suspense but is the real issues affecting African countries.
The rich mixture of war, action, artistic, and political influences on the film blood diamonds and theories raise the work of the producers up above mere cinematic entertainments. The work of the film can be understood as a Synthesis of psychology, aesthetics and visual art, and numerous pseudo-experiments can be found within his films. In The Film Sense, the producers of blood diamonds make strong claims about how viewers should attend to the sequence from the film, and these claims can be operationalized as testable hypotheses CITATION Jam04 \l 1033 (Potter, 2004).
The cognitive theory applies a lot in the movie regarding ethics whereby viewers are showed ethical scenarios where cast members were forced to make a decision. Throughout the blood diamonds film, a viewer is presented with different scenarios which leave them with the question of where the responsibility or blame should be placed. In one scene, reporter Maddy Bowen accuses Danny Archer, a smuggler, of prolonging the Sierra Leone conflict because his smuggling activities benefited warlords who continued to use child soldiers in waging war against government forces. Archer on his part argues that the American appetite for inexpensive diamond jewelry should also be blamed for prolonging the war because the United States is the biggest market for blood diamonds. This scene raises the ethical issue where a viewer can use their cognitive ability to decide how the responsibility should be allocated CITATION Jan91 \l 1033 (Sjokvist, 1991).
Other scenes in the film also show the application of cognitive theory to the film regarding ethics. Such a scene is whereby the conference in Kimberly South Africa concludes that a warranty system should be enforced, making it easier for consumers to avoid buying blood diamonds. This begs the question that if consumers become aware that they are purchasing conflict or blood diamonds, is there a moral difference between the actions of the consumers and those of Danny Archer the smuggler? This scene shows the viewer how the movie ends and leaves him to decide whether by having the warranty place helped consumers to avoid purchasing blood diamonds CITATION RSt00 \l 1033 (Stam, 2000).
Cognitive theory affects the mood of the movie in that the producers of the film manipulates that attention of the viewer by using editing techniques that make the film more interesting and making the action flow smoothly. The film is set and edited in such a way that the combination of its audio and visuals make a lasting impression on the mind of the viewer. The producers of the film used eye movements to gain the insight of viewer cognition. The thrilling action in the movie also makes viewers be glued and ask themselves questions; trick producers use to get the attention of the viewer CITATION MFi77 \l 1033 (Fishbein, 1977).
In conclusion, the film explores the use of the title "Blood Diamonds" basically to mean the diamonds that are mined illegally in war-torn countries, in which they arent used in developing those particular country or citizens instead used by the few mafias to enrich themselves at the expense of the country. Notably, the film depicts a power struggle between loyalist government forces and rebels who are fighting each other to control the country's mineral resources such as diamond. Equally important, the film explores the use of cognitive theory to widen the view of the audience or the public by capturing the manner in which majority of people suffer due to extreme greed from few corrupt individuals.
BIBLIOGRAPHY \l 1033 Bandura, A. (2001). Social cognitive theory of mass communication. Media psychology, 1-13.
Fishbein, M. (1977). Belief, attitude, intention, and behavior: An introduction to theory and research. Philpapers.org, 1-6.
Nannicelli, T., & Taberham, P. (2014). Cognitive media theory. New York: Routledge .
Potter, J. (2004). Theory of media literacy : a cognitive approach . California: SAGE Publications.
Sjokvist, J. (1991). Media, cognition and society : towards a cognitive media theory. Lund: University of Lund, Department of social anthropology.
Stam, R. (2000). Film theory: an introduction. Philpapers.org, 1-10.
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