POV: Big Men

(Rochester, NY)- In POV's Big Men, airing Monday, August 25, 2014 at 10 p.m. on WXXI-TV, director Rachel Boynton has achieved a tour-de-force of documentary filmmaking. Taking a large, complex and much-contested phenomenon — the oil business as it is conducted in under-developed countries such as Ghana and Nigeria — she has crafted an edge-of-your-seat, character-driven drama that is also a clear and enlightening film about the global dealings behind petroleum, a crucial resource that touches everyone's life.

Filming over five years, often accompanied solely by her cameraman, Boynton talked not only to the executives of Kosmos Energy, the small Dallas startup that developed Ghana's first commercial oil field, but also to the Deadly Underdogs, a Nigerian militant group looking to profit from the oil in any way possible — whether legal or not. In addition, she talked to everybody in-between and beyond — venture capitalists, government ministers, local businessmen, environmental and human rights activists and the men and women on the village street. The result is an inside account of today's oil business, complete with political intrigue, corruption and a fascinating cavalcade of players.

Pictured: Oil worker at a well test in Ghana, about 60 kilometers off shore.
Credit: Courtesy of Kyle Kibbe

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