Blood of Nigeria

AFP Photo / Pius Utomi Ekpei

­For 50 years Nigeria has been an El Dorado for oil companies from all over the world. An El Dorado and a hell. In this fourth-largest producer in OPEC, profits are colossal, but in the most extreme conditions of violence and injustice. Hostage-taking, corruption, attacks, massive pollution and destruction of the environment are the other face of this industry. Today, the Niger delta is one of the most dangerous regions in the world. The country that is the most populated in Africa is a very sick giant.

We crisscrossed the mangroves in every direction to encounter the locals, the militants and the hostage-takers. We were taken aboard an oil rig off the coast, where engineers and technicians drill ever deeper below the water. On land we filmed an incredible illegal refinery, pirated pipelines, the oil research center that remains mere foundations in the forest and villages without water, electricity or gas and yet crisscrossed with dozens of pipe lines. We played cat and mouse with the law to film massive torchings, forgotten pollution and to meet locals – hostages to colossal stakes. Buried beneath the earth for millions of years, Nigeria’s oil is now the world’s energy. It is the bounty and the curse of the country. It enriches the oil companies, allows developed economies to grow even more, fuels our factories, our cars, our planes and our rockets, but it doesn’t feed its own people.

Director : Philippe Lespinasse
Co-producer: France Televisions

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