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Big Men

A cautionary tale about the toll of American oil investment in West Africa, Big Men reveals the secretive worlds of both corporations and local communities in Nigeria and Ghana. Director Rachel Boynton gained unprecedented access to oil companies in Africa and has created a gripping account of the ambition, corruption, and greed that epitomise Africa's 'resource curse.' The film deftly uncovers the human impact of oil drilling and contains remarkable footage, in particular of militants operating in the Niger Delta. It provides a nuanced and compelling illustration of the responsibility that a range of actors bear for the environmental, economic, and political harm inflicted by resource extraction.

In Nigeria and elsewhere, Human Rights Watch has looked extensively at the human rights cost of oil drilling, focusing in particular on the silencing of activists, the environmental impact of drilling, the lack of accountability for security force abuses, and the mismanagement of oil revenue in the face of endemic poverty. Human Rights Watch has also explored in numerous reports the link between abundant resources and unfulfilled human rights, notably basic health care and education, as well as the challenge of eradicating corruption and ensuring fiscal transparency.