I think one of the privileges of being a filmmaker is the opportunity to remain a kind of perpetual student.
There is a segment of the American population that has been excluded from the national myth, and that should be redressed.
I don't think movies can ever be too intense, but people have to understand why you're showing them the things you are showing them.
I have nothing against diamonds, or rubies or emeralds or sapphires. I do object when their acquisition is complicit in the debasement of children or the destruction of a country.
I think it's too easy often to find a villain out of the headlines and to then repeat that villainy again and again and again. You know, traditionally, America has always looked to scapegoat someone as the boogie man.
Samurai culture did exist really, for hundreds of years and the notion of people trying to create some sort of a moral code, the idea that there existed certain behaviors that could be celebrated and that could be operative in a life.
I look at modern life and I see people not taking responsibility for their lives. The temptation to blame, to find external causes to one's own issues is something that is particularly modern. I know that personally I find that sense of responsibility interesting.
Sometimes when we weep in the movies we weep for ourselves or for a life unlived. Or we even go to the movies because we want to resist the emotion that's there in front of us. I think there is always a catharsis that I look for and that makes the movie experience worthwhile.
There is something universal in the theme of a man trying to save his family in the midst of the most terrible circumstances. It is not limited to Sierra Leone. This story could apply to any number of places where ordinary people have been caught up in political events beyond their control.
To me this movie is about what is valuable. To one person it might be a stone; to someone else, a story in a magazine; to another, it is a child. The juxtaposition of one man obsessed with finding a valuable diamond with another man risking his life to find his son is the beating heart of this film.