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Backstabbing for Beginners (2018)

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A young program coordinator at the United Nations stumbles upon a conspiracy involving Iraq's oil reserves.


Per Fly


Per Fly (screenplay by), Daniel Pyne (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Rachel Wilson ... Lily
Theo James ... Michael
Ben Kingsley ... Pasha
Jacqueline Bisset ... Christina Dupre
Rossif Sutherland ... Trevor
Belçim Bilgin ... Nashim
Brian Markinson ... Rasnetsov
Shauna MacDonald ... Reporter
Aidan Devine ... Justin Cutter
Daniela Lavender ... Ruth
Dwight Ireland ... U.S. Customs Agent
Kardo Razzazi ... Abhek
Elena Khan Elena Khan ... Prisoner
Peshang Rad ... Hassan
Hattie Kragten ... Kate


A young program coordinator at the United Nations stumbles upon a conspiracy involving Iraq's oil reserves.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


If You Dig Too Deep, You May Not Like What Comes Up

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language throughout, and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]


Denmark | Canada | USA



Release Date:

27 April 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dobbeltspil See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


Josh Hutcherson was set to play the lead role in this movie, but when co-Writer and Director Per Fly informed him they would be shooting in Morocco and Jordan, Hutcherson dropped out because of safety reasons. See more »


Pasha: The first rule of diplomacy is that the truth is not a matter of fact, it's a matter of consensus.
See more »

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User Reviews

'If you dig too deep, you may not like what comes up'
27 May 2018 | by gradyharpSee all my reviews

Michael Soussan's memoir of his experiences working for the UN during the Iraqi crisis has been transformed into a tightly woven screenplay by Daniel Pine and director Per Fly. The true story is at once enlightening, horrifying, and maddening - some truth about the degree of corruption on al levels of government not only in this country but also around the world.

Theo James takes on the role of Michal Soussan as he unravels the tale of the misappropriation of United Nations money in the Oil for Food program that was intended to supply food and medicine to the victims of Saddam Hussein's brutal madness in Iraq 2002 - 2003. The cast is uniformly excellent with the superb Ben Kingsley as the UN undersecretary Pasha in charge of the Oil for Food humanitarian effort to aid the desperate Iraqi citizens. He hires the somewhat naïve Michael Soussan to go to Baghdad to oversee the supposed infiltration of evil in the humanitarian program. Michael's naïveté fails to face the complex dealings of Christine Dupre (Jacqueline Bisset), the Kurdish Nashim (Belçim Bilgin), the evil Rasnetsov (Brian Markinson), and other characters portrayed by Rossif Sutherland, Rachel Wilson, Peshang Rad, among others.

The depth and extent of corruption in the manipulation of the billions of dollars sent for humanitarian aid but foiled by Hussein and the governments and big businesses of the world leading up to the attack on Iraq by President George Bush's included photomontage speech is horrifying. Yes, we all have heard and read about the extent of global corruption, but to watch it occur along with mass killings and degrading behaviors is staggeringly real and disgusting. Did the film need to be made? Yes, if we all care about somehow finding a means to end the greed and hypocrisy that still remains a global plague. Not an inspiring film, but a necessary one. And well done.

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