Big Men

Watch Big Men

  • NR
  • 2014
  • 1 hr 39 min
  • 7.1  (656)
  • 90

Big Men is a documentary film that explores the impact of oil exploration and exploitation in Ghana and Nigeria, and the complex relationships between local communities, multinational oil companies, and the government. Directed by Rachel Boynton and released in 2013, the film follows the stories of several characters whose lives are intertwined with the oil industry, including a Texas-based oil company called Kosmos Energy, a Ghanaian entrepreneur named George Owusu, and a militant group in Nigeria known as the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND).

The film begins with an overview of the history of oil in both countries, highlighting the way in which the discovery of petroleum resources has often led to corruption, conflict, and environmental degradation. The focus then shifts to Kosmos Energy, which has recently discovered a massive oil field off the coast of Ghana that could potentially make the company billions of dollars in profits. We learn about the complex negotiations and legal battles that the company faces as it tries to secure its drilling rights, and the role that former Ghanaian government officials play in facilitating the deal.

At the same time, we follow George Owusu, a Ghanaian businessman who is trying to create a local oil and gas industry that would benefit Ghanaian workers and entrepreneurs. Owusu's company, Springfield Energy, is small but ambitious, and he hopes to use the Kosmos deal as a way to jumpstart his own operations. However, he soon finds himself at odds with larger multinational companies and the Ghanaian government that seem to prioritize their own profits over local development.

The film also introduces us to MEND, a militant group that operates in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, which has been devastated by decades of oil production. MEND is portrayed as a group that is fueled by anger and frustration at the way in which the government and foreign companies have exploited their resources without providing any benefits to the local population. The group is notorious for its attacks on oil infrastructure and kidnappings of foreign workers, and the film shows how their tactics have forced companies to pay large sums of money in order to ensure the safety of their employees.

Throughout the film, we see how the lives of these characters are impacted by the oil industry in different ways. For Kosmos Energy, the potential profits are enormous, but the company must navigate a complex landscape of legal and political obstacles in order to extract the oil. For George Owusu, the promise of local development and economic growth through the oil industry is complicated by the reality of larger multinational companies that seem to have an unfair advantage. And for MEND, the anger and frustration of years of exploitation have boiled over into violence, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.

One of the strengths of the film is its ability to offer a nuanced portrayal of the complexities and contradictions of the oil industry in Africa. The film does not present an easy solution or a clear villain, but rather shows how multiple actors with competing interests are all implicated in the perpetuation of a system that has significant social and environmental costs. The film also offers a sobering reminder of the way in which the resources of the global south have been exploited for the benefit of the wealthy nations of the global north, and the price that people in these countries pay for this inequality.

Overall, Big Men is a well-crafted and thought-provoking documentary that offers a window into the impact of the oil industry in Africa, and the larger forces of globalization and inequality that shape our world. The film is both informative and engaging, and is a must-see for anyone interested in issues of international development, environmental justice, and corporate accountability.

Big Men is a 2014 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 39 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.1 and a MetaScore of 90.

Big Men
Where to Watch Big Men
Big Men is available to watch free on Plex, The Roku Channel Free, Pluto TV, Tubi TV and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Big Men for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 39 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.1  (656)
  • Metascore