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Dark Diamond: Robbing the Family Jewels
Ulmann is out to punish the people who maimed his late father’s paw. They
happened to be the diamond-dealing relatives he never knew. As far as the
resentful son is concerned, any diamond that flows through their Antwerp
brokerage is a blood diamond. However, he intends to make them pay where it
hurts the most—their band account. Ulmann keeps his caper in the family
throughout Arthur Harari’s Dark Diamond (a.k.a. Dark Inclusion, trailer here), which is now
available on DVD from First Run Features.
day, Ulmann does odd construction work, but by night he pulls off carefully targeted
art thefts for Rachid, his fence and pseudo-god-father. Victor Ulmann, his real
father, recently passed away, but they were so estranged, it will be days
before the news reaches the son. However, after his father’s death, Ulmann
starts to understand how badly the old man was done by the Antwerp Ulmanns.
After a marathon diamond-cutting session led to the accidental amputation of his
hand, the distraught Victor was kicked to the curb and disinherited by his
father and brother Joseph.
Joseph’s drug-addled son Gabi offers Ulmann some guilt-alleviating remodeling
work, it gives him an excuse to start casing their business. However, when
Ulmann talks his way into an apprenticeship with the Ulmann’s preferred cutter
Rick De Vries, the son discovers he has his father’s talent. He also learns when
Uncle Joseph’s big stones will be sitting innocently in the cutter’s vault.
Dark Diamond has a rather
chilly Benelux sensibility, but it rather works for a diamond caper movie. Harari
and his co-screenwriters Agnès Feuvre and Vincent Poymiro seem to have an
insider’s understanding of the diamond business, including the shift of power
from Belgium to India. The caper business is appealingly complex, but that is
nothing compared to the evolving rat’s nest of divided Ulmann family loyalties.
Niels Schneider is known for his sensitive mop-top roles, he gives an
effectively cold and clammy Joel Kinnaman-esque performance as resentful Pier.
However, it is the old guys, Hafed Benotman as the deceptively placid Rachid,
Hans-Peter Cloos as the unapologetic Uncle Joseph, and Jos Verbist as De Vries
(perhaps the only fundamentally decent character), who give the film grit and
Like Pier Ulmann, Dark Diamond commits a few errors in judgment (in some cases, their
missteps are one and the same). However, its cerebral vibe and patient
dot-connecting make for a rather pleasant change of pace. Recommended for
Euro-caper-heist fans, Dark Diamond is
now available on DVD from First Run Features.
Labels: Caper movies, DVD