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Young man, young man! You must understand, the government wants you to vote, okay? They will tell you that "the future is in your hands". We now the future, so we take your hands! No more hands, no more voting. CHOP HIM!
~ Captain Poison dismembers a civilian.
I do not need to kill you, Solomon Vandy. If you do not bring me the diamond, I will find the rest of your family, just as I have found your son. I will rape your wife in front of your eyes... slit her throat... and I will keep your daughters for myself. You think I am a devil, but only because I have lived in Hell. I want to get out. You will help me.
~ Poison threatens Solomon Vandy.

Captain Poison is the secondary antagonist of the 2006 war thriller film Blood Diamond. He is a ruthless warlord fighting for the rebellious Revolutionary United Front in the Sierra Leone Civil War, and the archenemy of Solomon Vandy.

He was portrayed by David Harewood, who also portrayed Joshua Naismith in Doctor Who and Cyborg Superman in The CW's Supergirl.

Biography

During the Sierra Leone Civil War in 1999, Captain Poison and his rebel forces attack the village of Shenge, where Solomon Vandy is lives and is separated from his family, namely his son Dia. Solomon is captured by Poison, along with several other civilians, which are lined up and have their hands removed by the soldiers on Poison's orders to stop them from voting. As they are about to do the same to Solomon, Poison instead opts to bring him to work in the diamond mining fields.

While laboring in the diamond field in the river valley, Solomon finds a large pink diamond, worth several millions of dollars. Hiding the diamond between his toes, he requests to go to the bathroom to bury it for later. Poison searches him to ensure he isn't smuggling anything, missing the diamond under Solomon's feet. He gives him the okay to go, only to follow him and see him burying the diamond. He demands he give it up at gunpoint, just as the Sierra Leone government forces attack the area, and Poison loses his eye. Both he and Solomon are taken to a prison in the capital of Freetown.

In the prison, Poison demands that Solomon tell him what he did with the diamond. When Poison offers a thousand dollars to whoever cuts the diamond out of Solomon, Solomon lies and denies knowing about the diamond or who Poison is, calling him and his soldiers devils who took everything from him, and that if anyone has the diamond it is Poison. Poison, enraged, threatens Solomon by telling him he will find his family. Their bickering is overheard by Danny Archer, an ex-mercenary and white Rhodesian, who is in the prison for being caught smuggling diamonds into Liberia. Archer arranges to have Solomon released from the prison and extends an offer to him to help him find his family in exchange for the diamond.

The two eventually find the river valley where Solomon found and buried the diamond. Here, he is reunited with Dia, who acknowledges his father as an enemy, having been brainwashed by Poison and his rebels to be a ruthless child soldier. Dia outs his father, thus Solomon is once again face-to-face with poison, who demands he find the diamond, lest the rest of his family be found and brutalized. Just then, a South African mercenary force, led by Archer's former commander Colonel Coetzee, launches a bombardment on the site, killing many rebels and child soldiers, sending the rest to run for cover. During all the turmoil, Poison tries to kill Vandy while he tries to get to his son but Vandy grabs a nearby shovel and hit him in the face. As enraged and almost crazed Solomon rushes with full intention to kill, Poison cowardly runs away in fear but he is savagely beaten to death as Vandy catches up to him, finally putting down the barbarous warlord.

Personality

Captain Poison is portrayed as a violent and sadistic man, with only his own endgame in mind. Though he claims he wants to make Sierra Leone a strong nation by trading diamonds for munitions, it's evident that he wants the profits and power for himself. He also hates democracy, given that he hacks off the hands of civilians as a symbolic gesture against voting.

Poison's sadism is most obvious whenever he appears, first when he laughs and jokes while dismembering innocents. In the prison, he smiles as he threatens to have Solomon Vandy eviscerated for the diamond. During his final moments, he describes how he'll rape and kill Solomon's wife and sexually abuse his daughters with sick glee. Poison also seems to hate whites, citing them as "foreign devils", and that the Sierra Leoneans should be made strong instead of letting the foreigners have the power.

Despite his brutality, he is shown to be a coward when his victims fight back as shown when Vandy grabbed a shovel and started beating him, which ran away in fear rather than fighting back.

Trivia

  • Though not confirmed, it's implied that Poison had a tragic past, as he tells Solomon Vandy that he's "lived in Hell".
  • Captain Poison's act of removing the hands from citizens to prevent them from voting in elections is based on a real atrocity committed by RUF forces during the Sierra Leone Civil War since the election slogan then was that the people "had the power in their hands".
    • Additionally, soldiers would also be dismembered, on the pretense that they should not fire upon their own people.

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