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Diamond Empire

Diamond Empire

Duration: 102 min
ISBN: 1-932869-20-4
Date Produced: 1994
Subtitles: English

Filmmaker Info
Praise for the Film

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Diamond Empire

This astonishing documentary investigates how an advertising slogan invented by Madison Avenue executives in 1948 has come to define our most intimate and romantic rituals and ideals. The Diamond Empire, which sent shockwaves through the transnational diamond industry when it first appeared, systematically takes apart the myth that "diamonds are forever."

It exposes how one white South African family, through a process of monopoly and fantasy, managed to exert control over the global flow of diamonds and change the very way we think about courtship, marriage, and love - an achievement all the more stunning given that diamonds are in fact neither scarce nor imperishable. Zeroing in on how "the diamond empire" managed to convert something valueless into one of the most coveted commodities in history, the film provides a riveting look at how marketing and consumer culture shape not only global trade and economics, but also our very identities.

The Media Education Foundation is delighted to be able to make this powerful educational resource available to teachers once again.

Filmmaker Info

Produced by Janine Roberts

Filmmaker's Bio

Janine Roberts has been investigating the diamond business for more than 23 years, during which time she has led numerous newspaper investigations and produced several documentary films, which led to her invitation to testify before the United States Congress. She was also a principal speaker at the first post-apartheid conference of Southern African diamond mineworkers. She is the author of the book, Glitter & Greed: The Secret World of the Diamond Cartel.

Film Festivals

Press Reviews

Praise for the Film

"In all my years of teaching, this is the single most important video I have ever shown. No film has proven as successful in showing students how a major part of their identities has been constructed by a corporate, commercial culture. This movie changes the way we see the world."
- Sut Jhally | Department of Communications | UMass Amherst

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