Big Men Screen 5 articles

Big Men


Big Men Poster
  • Big Men implicitly argues that only Western investment, and the removal of impediments to it, can bring prosperty to Africa. Is this Boynton's position? If so, she should make it more explicit, and she should more systematically consider the many arguments to the contrary.

  • As we saw in [Ms. Boynton's] first feature, “Our Brand Is Crisis” (2006)... her style is careful, her mind curious and her approach open-ended. Vilifying no one, she and her wily cinematographer, Jonathan Furmanski, nevertheless nudge us to notice telling details: the heavy gold rings adorning the fingers of a Nigerian government official during a discussion of corruption and Mr. Musselman’s smooth deflection of a thorny taxation issue.

  • Boynton keenly captures the horror of these images from the villages on the Delta that are forced to live in this environment, perpetually surrounded by flames, smoke, and the resultant falling of acid rain. Seen in contrast to Ghana, Nigeria stands as a cautionary tale for any country delving into oil development for the first time.

  • Using razor-sharp journalistic skill to untangle the knotty saga of an American petroleum company’s entrance into the West African republic of Ghana, Boynton’s film also poses a series of troubling philosophical questions: Is unchecked greed an intrinsic part of the human character? Is “the greater good” ever more than a convenient euphemism where big business and big government are concerned?

  • By the time we get to the witty, charismatic, masked militants in the jungles of Nigeria called the Deadly Underdogs, it’s clear that the film isn’t interested in streamlined clarity or overt, simple political statements... The film is as structurally and thematically complex as Hubert Sauper’s Darwin’s Nightmare... and as dramatically thrilling as John Huston’s The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (which is quoted onscreen at the beginning). This is high-stakes cinema at its most multifaceted.

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