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Brad Pitt’s documentary on oil in Nigeria and Ghana 0

Apr13

A movie executive-Produced by Brad Pitt –‘Big Men’ Explores Greed in West African Oil Exploration specifically Ghana and Nigeria. This Documentary premieres at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAE1WoGWgcA[/youtube]

Producer and Director Rachel Boynton first went to Africa in 2006 to research her documentary Big Men. Six years later, she had a film that takes an expansive, yet focused, look at how oil makes its way from deep in an ocean off the coast of Ghana to the U.S. stock exchange, and the ensuing complications.

The film explores the connections between the Ghanaian company who finds the oil field, the small Texas oil company who drills, the Wall Street private equity partners who invest, and the Ghanaian government officials who manage the contracts. The glitch, depending on your seat, comes when Ghanaian leadership changes, the justice department is called in to investigate allegations of corruption on the part of the U.S. firm and credit contracts due to the financial crisis.

The film’s backdrop is the increasing violence in Nigeria, where militants are stealing from and blowing up foreign gas pipelines in an effort to siphon off profits from the corrupt Nigerian government who isn’t sharing the riches. The doc simultaneously looks at the process and implications of western companies investing in foreign oil ventures, profiles an African country trying to profit after centuries of exploitation and watches as everyone navigates how to slice the billion-dollar pie.

Boynton also looks at the psychological motivations for the individual players, all striving to be masters of the universe, or in West African parlance, “big men.” Rolling Stone spoke with Boynton about her cautious optimism for Ghana, the legacy of Milton Friedman and working with Brad Pitt and Sebastian Junger.

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