Blood and Diamonds

(Diamanti Sporchi di Sangue)

Director Fernando Di Leo


Luis Bacalov Diamanti Sporchi di Sangue Di Leo Buchet

Close-up of a ringing telephone. Answering it is Guido Mauri while on the other end his boss, Rizzo, gives him the go-ahead: proceed with the heist. But a tip-off causes the pot to explode and Guido Mauri loses five years of his life. Not even five minutes and we are already in the beating heart of the opera, of those ‘Blood diamonds’ that should have initially been titled (as per the screenplay) ‘Roma calibro 9’. In fact, Diamanti preserves an ideal continuity of the original model “Milano calibro 9” in its characters and plot framework, a continuity reaffirmed by the choice of once again entrusting the role of the femme fatale (in this case, not too much) to the corrupting beauty of Barbara Bouchet, who, from an angular dark lady in a seventies shell in the 1972 masterpiece, is here revisited through lenses that defuse her ambiguity: queen in appearance, but in reality a pawn in a game broader than her perfidious intentions. Where Diamanti takes on its own DNA and specific weight is in the overturning of the topical aspects and key ‘locations’ that in Calibro 9 developed according to an incontrovertible and fatal progression of events, whose point of arrival materialised in an epilogue ‘already written’ and called into question from the very first shots, but no less bleeding and cruel for this reason. The photograph, in essence, of a desperate and nihilistic world. In the Roman episode, what stands out and gives sense and depth, in a different measure from the classic to which reference is made, is the presence of an ethical and moral handbook guiding the (re)actions of the protagonists, typical of many criminal apologies (Melville) but until then almost completely absent in the stories and environments told by Di Leo, environments that the author himself knew as the living room of his home. This novelty helps to see Blood and Diamonds as an “ideological noir”, a new appointment in the cinema of Fernando Di Leo, who with the Trilogia del milieu seemed to have said everything there was to say about the genre. The counterpart to this underworld behavioural pattern is Tony, Rizzo’s new right-hand man to whom a monumental and histrionic Pier Paolo Capponi lends his nervous physicality, a character as Dileian as few and who, like few, manages to imprint his sequences with a brand of (in)healthy and gratuitous wickedness. The epic and interminable hand-to-hand combat between Capponi himself and Cassinelli (exactly ten years before Carpenter showed it to us in his ‘They Lives’), masterfully orchestrated by a skilful use of the hand-held camera constantly glued to the two contenders, still remains well anchored in the cinephile memory. Paradoxically, or perhaps precisely because of this inversion of parameters, Blood and Diamonds turns out to be an extremely dark and nocturnal work, in some way an expression of that swan song that a few years later would decree the end of noir as a consumer genre, but at the same time a vibrant and dense film, an important page in the history of Italian genre cinema.


Genre: crime drama

Claudio Cassinelli: Guido Mauri
Martin Balsam: Rizzo
Barbara Bouchet: Lisa
Pier Paolo Capponi: Tony
Olga Karlatos: Maria Capozzi
Vittorio Caprioli: Commissioner Russo

Soundtrack Luis Bacalov

Luis Bacalov Diamanti Sporchi di Sangue Di Leo Buchet
Luis Bacalov Diamanti Sporchi di Sangue Di Leo Buchet
Luis Bacalov Diamanti Sporchi di Sangue Di Leo Buchet