Director: Stephen Gaghan
Actors: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Jeffrey Wright
Runtime: 128 min
A movie about the impact of the oil industry and petroleum politics on the Middle East, but also on world politics. Syriana is a term used by Washington think-tanks to describe a hypothetical re-shaping of the Middle East. The structure of the film is complex and dynamic, with several parallel storylines developing simultaneously and intersecting in various ways. It is well shown how the system works, especially certain of its aspects. The difference between publicly proclaimed values and what is actually carried out in practice. The difference between the lower and upper echelons of the corporate and government hierarchies, not only in terms of how well-informed each level is, but also the absence of any system or belief that is not directly related to money. Corruption is OK if it is in the national interest, between democracy and profit they will naturally choose profit, and loyalty or human life are just empty words that mean nothing. This is quite an informative, balanced, well-conceived film based on documentary material, although at the end there is a disclaimer that “all of the characters and events portrayed in it (except for incidental archival footage), are fictional.”
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