Film: Big Men (2013)

May 22, 2013 | By

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Film: Very Good/ DVD Transfer:  n/a / DVD Extras: n/a /

Label: n/a / / Region: n/a / / Released: n/a /

Genre: Documentary / Hot Docs 2013

Synopsis: A small American oil exploration firm is affected by political and internal corporate struggles after a large off-shore oil deposit is discovered in Ghana.

Special Features: n/a /

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Review:

Writer/ director / producer Rachel Boynton follows the same blend of fly-on-the-wall cinematography with fictional dramatic editing in Our Brand is Crisis [M] (2006) to create this initially engrossing cautionary tale of a small U.S. oil company, Kosmos Energy, eventually being overwhelmed by political and corporate power struggles when a massive deposit of off-shore oil is discovered in Ghana’s Jubilee Fields.

The characters are set up neatly, the conflicts are contrasted with the ultimate nightmare scenario in Nigeria (rampant corruption and greed has effectively ruined the country’s social fabric), but Big Men loses some of its energy when the focus shifts to the ousting of Kosmos’ CEO Jim Musselman, the project’s unwavering supporter who’s sidelined by his second in command after a messy putsch. Greed is clearly the film’s theme, and Boynton’s close access to her colourful subjects captures a bevy of alligator smiles from figures in Ghana and the U.S., but the film’s most energetic and prescient material comes from the Nigerian sequences, which offer the drama and sharp commentary lacking in Big Men’s finale.

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© 2013 Mark R. Hasan

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External References:

IMDB Composer FilmographyHot Docs 2013 Entry

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