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A volatile, oil-rich Nigerian community wages war against their corrupt government and a multi-national oil corporation to protect their land from being destroyed by excessive drilling and spills. To seek justice, a rebel organization kidnaps an American oil executive and demands that his corporation end the destruction and pollution. Inspired by true events, Black November is the gripping story of how a community rises up and takes drastic measures to make sure their voices are heard.
More like a rough draft than a fully-fledged film...
I was very excited to see this, having waited to view it since its release in 2012. However, I was very disappointed with the overall quality of this film which is sadly lacking. Although it might have had the potential to have significant political influence; due to its many technical and creative flaws coupled with, I dare say, restrictions on its general release, I fear that any impact this movie does make will be rather limited, which I am sure Jeta Amata would not have wanted.
Although it achieves its primary intention, which is to expose and communicate an important message about what is happening with the corrupt western control of the oil in the Niger Delta, and the horrors thereof; the whole movie is done in a rather hurried fashion with inconsistencies of plot, script and no real building of the central characters. Add to this lack of attention to details and you get a rather slap-dash effort that I feel does not do justice to the message that it is trying to convey. I feel this political theme was explored and expressed with far greater skill in the 2010 TV drama 'Blood and Oil' which contains a more substantial plot, suspense and careful attention to the building of a central character.
By contrast, this movie feels much more like a documentation of events. Scenes tended to jump around a lot and did not give the viewer any sense of consistency. There are flashes of good acting at times, mostly overshadowed by a superficial script that does not explore any intricacies and therefore does nothing to build tension. The majority of acting though, is rather wooden and does not convey the passion necessary for such a significant issue.
Having said all of this, the film did move me with concern and compassion for the situation in the Niger Delta, highlighting the corruption of those in power; the desperation of the protesters and the frustrations of their helplessness due to poverty and oppression by a military government. It also gave me an understanding of how 'terrorism' can develop as a last resort of a country that has been continuously used and abused by those with greater 'power'. I would say in summation that this film is more of a political statement than a film crafted to enlighten and entertain; it's main purpose being to bring an awareness to the state of affairs in the ND. It also stresses the definite need to raise awareness through further cinematic expression of this critical message, which, if done with more attention to detail, and perhaps greater financial backing, could make an enormous impression and possibly even create some degree of positive change.
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