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15 Ratings

Big Men

Directed by Rachel Boynton
United States, 2013


For her latest industrial exposé, Rachel Boynton (Our Brand Is Crisis) gained unprecedented access to Africa’s oil companies. The result is a gripping account of the costly personal tolls levied when American corporate interests pursue oil in places like Ghana and the Niger River Delta.

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Big Men Directed by Rachel Boynton
Big Men implicitly argues that only Western investment, and the removal of impediments to it, can bring prosperty to Africa. Is this Boynton’s position? If so, she should make it more explicit, and she should more systematically consider the many arguments to the contrary.
March 15, 2014
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As we saw in [Ms. Boynton’s] first feature, “Our Brand Is Crisis” (2006)… her style is careful, her mind curious and her approach open-ended. Vilifying no one, she and her wily cinematographer, Jonathan Furmanski, nevertheless nudge us to notice telling details: the heavy gold rings adorning the fingers of a Nigerian government official during a discussion of corruption and Mr. Musselman’s smooth deflection of a thorny taxation issue.
March 13, 2014
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Boynton keenly captures the horror of these images from the villages on the Delta that are forced to live in this environment, perpetually surrounded by flames, smoke, and the resultant falling of acid rain. Seen in contrast to Ghana, Nigeria stands as a cautionary tale for any country delving into oil development for the first time.
March 08, 2014
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