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The Diamond Seekers

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 23, 2021

The Diamond is a contemplative short documentary by Caitlyn Greene about the people who look for diamonds in an ancient volcanic crater at the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas. Whatever you find there, you can keep. But what are they really searching for?

I came across an article about the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas, which I learned is the world’s only public diamond-bearing site. People from all walks of life search for diamonds atop this ancient volcanic crater, and it’s finders keepers. Some people find substantial diamonds, some don’t, and either way, it takes a lot of digging in the dirt. I was immediately hooked on the metaphor of this place.

I was interested in the hope of treasure, the grittiness of searching, and what people there were actually looking for in their lives. Creatively, I wanted to push an interview-driven piece, especially one in which subjects are given freedom to take you where they want to go, rather than guiding interviews along a plot-driven track. Errol Morris’ Vernon, Florida was a huge inspiration for this approach.

That loudspeaker announcement right at the beginning is surreal — a great way to set the tone for the rest of the film.