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 »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Theo James ... Michael
Ben Kingsley ... Pasha Pasaris
Belçim Bilgin ... Nashim Hussani
Jacqueline Bisset ... Christina Dupre
Peshang Rad ... Hassan
Daniela Lavender ... Ruth Zekra Kal
Rachel Wilson ... Lily
Rossif Sutherland ... Trevor
Brian Markinson ... Rasnetsov
Aidan Devine ... Justin Cutter
Karim Doukkali Karim Doukkali ... Kurdish Minister
Zahir Gilani ... Bearded Man
Hattie Kragten ... Kate
Kardo Razzazi ... Abhek
Julie Khaner ... Melina Pasaris


In October 2002, twenty-four year old Michael Sullivan moves from a job in lobbying to one in the diplomatic corps at the UN, he getting the job despite he feeling the interview having gone badly. He comes from a family of diplomats with both his father and his older sister having served - the former who was killed in 1983 in the US Embassy bombing in Beirut - and thus feels it is in his blood, his hope to make some difference in the world. He is assigned to be the assistant to Costa Pasaris - Pasha - the Undersecretary to the Oil for Food program, the largest ever humanitarian program in the organization. The program is to have Iraqi oil sold at market value with no proceeds going to the regime of Saddam Hussein, in exchange for food and medicine to the Iraqi populace who have suffered under that regime in Hussein filling his own coffers instead. Pasha quickly begins to see Michael as a trusted and valuable aide for the program, particularly against naysayers, especially internal ... Written by Huggo

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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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.
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Self Portrait
From the album Pop Music
Written by Todor Kobakov
Performed by Todor Kobakov
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User Reviews

the shadows of power
22 April 2018 | by voigaswolpertingerSee all my reviews

The movie backstabbing for beginners is not half as bad as some reviews have it. sure it does not invent the diplomacy thriller anew, but its solid handwork, a good production and the sets were good too. i was a bit irritated by ben kingsleys constant swearing, it would not befit a real high diplomat to use such foul language in public all the time. overall is a watchable film about a young idealistic guy getting assigned to a supposed dream job. but sooner than he imagined, he is caught up in the confusion that any multi billion dollar program and high politics bring along. whom can he believe? is it possible for one man to make a difference in a fight against corruption and greed? see for yourself

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Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]


Denmark | Canada | USA


English | Persian | French

Release Date:

27 April 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Backstabbing for Beginners See more »

Filming Locations:

Casablanca, Morocco See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Color | Black and White (archive footage)
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