A good movie gives you a ticket to a secret world and Big Men delivers again and again, taking you into rooms you have no business entering. You’ll eavesdrop on meetings about oil deals worth billions of dollars and watch heavily armed militants preparing to strike. It’s a fast-paced tour through the high-powered world of African oil deals – a quest for money and power and influence that affects us all.
The film’s central story follows a small group of American explorers at Dallas-based oil company Kosmos Energy. Between 2007 and 2011, with unprecedented, independent access, Big Men’s two-person crew filmed inside the oil company as Kosmos and its partners discovered and developed the first commercial oil field in Ghana’s history.
Simultaneously the crew filmed in the swamps of Nigeria’s Niger Delta, following the exploits of a militant gang to reveal another side of the economy of oil: people trying to profit in any way possible, because they’ve given up on waiting for the money to trickle down.
So what happens when a group of hungry people discover a massive and exquisitely rare pot of gold in one of the poorest places on earth?
Watch your back: it’s every company, government and man for himself and everyone wants to be BIG.
Film will be followed by a discussion led by Kathleen Wininger, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern Maine. A frequent visitor to Africa, she teaches courses on African Social Justice and African Literature and Film.