Set in the Middle East against a backdrop of the escalating global oil problem, Syriana weaves multiple storylines to illuminate the human consequences of the fierce pursuit of wealth and power.

An inside look at the global players for oil.

Syriana is loosely based on the real life escapades of former CIA agent Robert Baer, a Section Eight production with George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh at the helm.

avoiding partisan politics by focusing on individual stories

When Gulf Prince Nasir (Alexander Siddig) is about to take over the throne of his father, America is fearful as he is a principled reformer and so they decide to back his playboy brother instead. George Clooney is CIA agent Bob Barnes, working out of the Middle East, finds himself hung out to dry by his superiors when things get too hot. Bryan Woodman (Matt Damon) is an energy analyst whose ethics become vulnerable after the accidental drowning of his son. And lawyers Bennett Holiday (Jeffrey Wright) and Dean Whiting (Christopher Plummer) must make a decision between their country's interests and what's best for the world. All are drawn into a dangerous conspiracy involving corruption, oil, and international terrorism.

Syriana is convoluted, complex and confusing but in the end you realise that that's the way it is when foreign powers and corporations interfere in local affairs. Intertwining disparate subplots director Stephen Gaghan has exposed the intricacies and the myriad of players involved in the global race for oil. Cautiously avoiding partisan politics by focusing on individual stories he has created a universal film that will be hard to date. I felt privileged to have finally witnessed a film that comes close to telling you the real stories behind the news. Miss it and you may never know who's pulling the strings.

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2 hours 6 min