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Djimon Hounsou showdown! Man, he's great in both these movies. And I think they're both powerful and thought-provoking pieces of work. Man, Amistad has a dream cast (yeah, even McConaughey's fine in it; it was made back when he had more potential), but I guess Leo DiCaprio tips the scales in Blood Diamond's favor for me.
Having studied the events of "Amistad" years before ever seeing the film, I found myself thinking of it in terms of what it dramatized well (the Middle Passage stuff was agonizing to watch) and what it abridged (much). I think both films are gripping, though I think ultimately I give the nod to "Blood Diamond" mostly because its story has a little more focus...and I think Hounsou is just a shade more captivating to watch in that one (though both are amazing performances!).
My memory of Amistad is pretty patchy, aside from the traumatising Middle Passage sequence. My memory of Blood Diamond is dominated by poor characterisation; either exaggerated beyond belief (Hounsou), completely wasted (Connelly), or with exceptionally irritating accents (Leo). Do white Afrikaans people really turn every sentence into a question? So I'm handing this one to Amistad for being the only one of the two I'd be willing to revisit.