The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
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All Critics (19)
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This moral-economic drama plays out in backroom deals that Boynton records in all their stunning and at times shameless candor.
The constant machinations can get a little confusing. Thankfully, Boynton, a dogged reporter, manages to keep the story on a human scale.
Fanon would have said that eventually "the wretched of the earth" will wake up and learn their lesson. If this vivid, compassionate but unstinting film is any indication, Rachel Boynton is not convinced.
In "Big Men", Rachel Boynton offers a case study in how the promise of big wealth brings out the ruthless self-interest of all the parties concerned.
Dropping us into a perfect storm of avarice, this cool and incisive snapshot of global capitalism at work is as remarkable for its access as for its refusal to judge.
There are three categories of schemers in Big Men, Rachel Boynton's illuminating documentary about the oil business in West Africa: businessmen, politicians and bandits. Sometimes, though, it's hard to tell the types apart.
Big Men is a black gold exposé that goes behind closed doors with key players in the African oil industry, including government officials, foreign investors and local militants.
US oil exploitation in Africa, stretching from Texas to Nigeria and Ghana, and how the director managed to infiltrate oil oligarch boardrooms and subversive jungle hideaways alike. Detailed and informative, but lacking analysis and a big perspective.
A kind of true-life, slow-motion disaster flick for the NPR set [which] throws a spotlight on human fallibility, and all the shades of grey that color the geopolitical world.
A hard-hitting documentary about oil, money, globalism, international finance, corruption and greed.
Big Men weighs the balance of serving the common good v. the needs of commerce and government, understanding that historically this has tipped in favor of the latter. Ghana's fate, and perhaps the future of the whole continent, lie in the balance.
What sets 'Big Men' apart and makes it engrossing is the extraordinary degree of access Boynton had to the major parties and the deftness with which she uses it.
In the 1970 Doctor Who serial 'Inferno,' one parallel world on the brink of calamity due to a drilling incident gone terribly wrong serves as a warning for the other earth.
Of course, reality does not work like that, even on a much smaller scale, like say that of countries.
But in the case of Ghana and Nigeria, maybe for once it does, while it should be pointed out that of course all African countries are not the same.
In 2007, Kosmos Energy took a huge risk and discovered oil off the shore of Ghana. As negotiations and elections follow, eyes turn toward Nigeria as an object lesson in what a country should not do with its share of the oil money, as Nigeria became rife with corruption, thus leaving many whose lives should have been improved by government development, instead forced to make a risky living on the oil black market to eke out a subsistence living.(The Norwegian suggestion concerning taxation is by the most fair for everybody involved.) That also causes some to turn to militancy in sabotaging the pipelines to get their point across.
In the very incisive documentary and cinematic essay "Big Men," Rachel Boynton not only talks to those same insurgents to get a sense of what they want(and also some keen interpretation on what a documentary means), but also to those sitting in the boardrooms in New York, like James Musselman, the front man for Kosmos. And then she talks to everybody in between to get as many points of view as possible while also showing the high stakes involved for all parties, even those not directly affected.
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