Big Men

(USA, 2013, 99 mins, HDCAM)
Director:
EXEC PRODS Steven Shainberg, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Dan Cogan, Diana Barrett, Jim Swartz, Susan Swartz, Christina Weiss Lurie, Jeffrey Lurie, Rick Rosenthal
PROD/SCR Rachel Boynton
CAM Jonathan Furmanski
ED Seth Bomse
PROD CO Boynton Films
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Rachel Boynton’s compelling documentary follows what happens when Texas oil exploration firm Kosmos Energy makes an enormous discovery called the Jubilee Field off the coast of Ghana… No single resource is more essential to modern life than oil, and no film offers a more incisive look at how the enormous wealth oil creates subverts the morality of individuals, corporations, even entire countries… Those who remember Boynton’s excellent previous film, Our Brand Is Crisis, an examination of political consultants working at the highest levels of Latin American elections, know this director’s specialty is the kind of insider access filmmakers dream about. In Big Men, set in the world of oil capitalism in the West African nations of Ghana and Nigeria, that is true with a vengeance.

Working only with director of photography Jonathan Furmanski, Boynton spent seven years on this project. She made seven trips to Nigeria before even starting to film, six more to shoot, seven trips to Ghana and seven to Texas… Because of all the work she put in before the camera rolled, as well as all the years she put in filming, Boynton was perfectly positioned to go behind closed doors. Big Men is a story told as it happens, not reconstructed once all the dust is settled. The result is not only an examination of the inner workings of international capitalism but a look at the vagaries of human nature as well.—Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

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Rachel Boynton
Boynton Films
New York, NY
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