Blood and Oil - Video full Documentary

How did the Western world become so engaged in the Middle East? Why did the Ottoman Empire - now known as the Middle East become involved with World War I which was a European affair?

Anyone interested in learning and understanding the timeline of events that has lead us to the modern day conflict in the Middle East, should watch this film created by Marty Callaghan. 'Blood and Oil' is a detailed account about the motivation behind the birth of the Middle Eastern nations and the insatiable greed for oil.

The invasion by the British during WWI with the intent to quickly secure the city of Istanbul, ended up being an eight month-long series of battles, heavy with loss of life. Landing on the shores of the Gallipoli Peninsula at Anzac Cove 1915, the British forces were held back from taking the high ground by the defending Turkish troops, and therefore leaving their forces exposed and trapped on the beaches. During the initial landing, the British ship SS River Clyde became beached and under heavy Turkish fire from the shore. Many soldiers who emerged from the ship are shot and killed instantly, without ever making it to the beach. The sea was red with the blood of the slain, fifty yards deep from the shore.

Thus begins the entangled destinies of the Middle East and the Western world that will span decades. The tale of foreign occupation and misery with grisly chapters still being added - to this very day. Watch this film to learn the controversial truth behind the Middle Eastern occupation by U.S forces. 'Peacekeeping operations' and the 'War on Terror' are perhaps thinly veiled cover-ups for the Western fear with having oil supplies cut off. The Western economy would suffer greatly without such a steady oil supply, resulting in gas and fuel rationing.

The defeat of the Ottoman Empire in 1918 and events at the end of World War I, has led the Middle East into a dangerously discontent and torn land. As the author David Fromkin argues; the treaty forced upon the Muslim world was indeed -"The peace to end all peace".

 Filed under: Countries / Civilizations

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bluesbaby5050: Blood and Oil:A British Twist on a Nigerian Story.Movie-PART1/2

Blood and Oil: A British Twist on a Nigerian Story. PART 1 AND PART 2 movie.

The BBC is a purveyor of exquisite TV dramas, the broadcaster seems to be spending its massive takings from the TV licence levy creatively, very much so on drama and documentaries. A few months ago, I watched the well-made Small Island, a televisation of Andrea Levy's novel of the same title. David Oyelowo, the zesty Shakespearean actor, and Naomie Harris, one of Britain's finest female actors, starred in the period picture. Both actors' return to the small screen a few days ago was just as pleasing. Two-parter Blood and Oil is a westerner's attempt at dramatising the crisis in the Niger Delta, where, truly, blood and oil - crude, bituminous, processed or liquefied - are far less antithetical than you might imagine.

Here is the spoiler. In the wake of rapid gunburst, three expats are kidnapped together with their Nigerian bodyguard by a group of MEND ‘militants' who are also used by the film's director to show up the Nigerian Police as ineffectual and scarecrowish as a lot of them are felled by the relentless firepower of the assailants. Claire Unwin (Jodhi May), the wife of one of the kidnapped expats, flies out to Nigeria from Britain. A flight that is confluent with that of Alice Omuka (Naomie Harris), a black British young woman of Nigerian parentage. Alice leaves after a colourfully Yoruba-lite 65th birthday party of her father, a greying Justice Omuka (Bankole Omotoso) who is apparently living in clover in London. Alice is sent to succour Claire while she waits for her husband to be released.

The British wife arrives in Nigeria and upon some negotiations, she is told her husband has been released by his kidnappers after a ransom has been paid. She, Alice and others travel in a dugout that sets out to take her husband back. The photo-op that Mark Unwin's oil company, Krielson International, hopes to use for PR purposes fail to materialise as the boat is slowly rowed onto the disturbing sight of the expat hostages dangling from a wellhead, an execution which runs counter to the belief that kidnapped oil workers are always released for a price. Claire, Unwin's wife, shrieks and for the most part of the first programme, she blubbers. After this grisly Naipauline bend in the creek, the drama begins. How did the three hostages come to grief? Where is the Nigerian guard? Why did the hostage-takers kill the hostages? Were they really killed by the MEND guys? Although Alice is as bemused as Claire, she takes a central role in the somewhat hard-spun tapestry of events – and it is not just a simple case of pictural weft slipping easily into warp. While Alice (unsuccessfully) tries to take an ethical high-road of sorts to arrive at her conclusions, Claire, intent on solving the riddle of her husband death, crosscuts into bypaths often revealing and mostly sleazy. In one of the webcam recordings her husband made before his death, he described where he was – the Niger Delta, or probably Nigeria as a whole – as a ‘soulless' place, this reprised damnation is directorially made to be liminal. And Claire seems at first resentful of the ‘soulless' people who had killed her husband. Then as she picks her way through the swamps, morass and mangrove of the Delta, Claire begins to see that her husband may not have been ‘whiter than white,' to use a Blairite phrase.

But early on, the portrayal of Nigeria and its people would ruffle the cool of the most unchauvinistic of Nigerian. The noisy scrum of Nigerian passengers in an airplane, gibbering and shouting over one another. I've been among a planeful of Nigerians a number of times and I can't really recall such raucous anarchy. Outside the airport, the door of a car (taxi) that is to take Claire to her hotel comes off the joint. As she is driven off, a bunch of grownup urchins cadge her for money. Somewhere, a jeep full of ‘mobile' policemen taking some ‘expats' somewhere, is driven rough-wheeled through some sort of market, startling and scattering everyone like chickens, upturning everything in its way. A woman pushes two men off an okada and takes their place on the pillion, alone. And all through the film, there are these unlikely men in whose fish-eyed stare and deportment one could fillet out an embodiment of taciturn zombiism and suited thuggishness. And the plastic accents of some of the ‘Nigerians.'

Besides being usually parodic, films and documentaries made about Africa and the people of Africa by non-Africans often run the risk of coming across as no more than anthropological striptease. Tears of the Sun. Hotel Rwanda. The Constant Gardener. Blood Diamonds. There is the risk of scripts being overwritten, pictures overdrawn, contours picked out in primary colours, poster splashes, sociological potpourris heavily daubed and sprinkled with formulaic facsimiles. And often when it comes to Nigeria, the striptease often become racier, more off-colour and sometimes phantasmagorical. Even a piffling sci-fi like District 9 still finds a role for a louche character called Obasanjo – sorry, I mean Obedsandjo - and his Nigerian gang. Mrs Akunyili went into a fit of pet over this, possibly reasonably so, considering that she was in the middle of the lost cause called Rebranding. But then if one stretches one's imagination a bit one realises that there truly was an Obasanjo in Abuja, the leader of a gang-like groupuscule culled from a larger group that goes by the name PDP.

In spite of some salting up here and there, Blood and Oil is an incredibly well-written drama. The writer, Guy Hibbert, is one of the finest at work today. The picture has just about the right blood-and -guts, thrills-and-spills for a TV drama. And Hibbert does something brilliant too (or just merely politically correct), he turns the storyline into an exercise in moral levelling, he shows that even white men were capable of bathing themselves in the bilge of the vast barge of Niger delta oil world. It is gradually borne in on Claire that her husband was not what she cracks him up to be, that he had not just come down to Nigeria to make money for them to buy a house. He might have been involved in a number of shady things from planning to bring prostitutes into Britain to being a would-be saboteur. But something that is clearer than all is that Unwin used to frequent a bar where there was a plethora of nubile pickups. Which was where her husband may have met Angel, a tartily dressed girl in the photograph he took in the bar.

The bar. A steamy fornicatory where white men and black girls indulge and abandon themselves to the moment. In the place, Claire meets a man, a self-confirmed hedonist who says he's been living in Nigeria for more than two decades, he goes quite near the knuckle, all but prurient, in his sage chat with the just-widowed woman. Claire finally finds Angel in a church, a Pentecostal tent complete with a stomping, spitting, and slick-appearing pastor. She hustles Angel out of the church, runs her to ground, and Angels blurts out how Claire's husband, Mark Unwin, clearly a fuckbuddy, had promised her the moon, the sun and the whole shebang (not a pun), even marriage.

While she fights off a journalist who seems to know a lot more than anyone around, Alice is also getting greater a purchase on how things work in Nigeria. After a few meetings, Ed Daly (Patterson Joseph), her American colleague in Nigeria, opens up to Alice about oil trade secrets, the modus vivendi, the dynamics of corruption, greed and grand racketeering in Nigeria, he even tells her father is one of the birds of prey picking at the bloated carcase of the Nigerian corporation. The somewhat bewildered Alice forges a friendship with feisty Keme Tobodo (Oyelowo), a young man atoning for his own dad's involvement in the Nigerian graft with truth-telling and well-meaning activism. You have a feeling that passionate Tobodo, who is banged up somewhere in the story, may have been suggested to Hibbert by Ken Saro Wiwa and not the hotspur Dokubo-Asari.

Both Alice and Claire return to England weeks older and loads wiser. In England, Alice gets savvied up to the possibility that her father may indeed be a member of the oil-bunkering cartel. She is shown to have returned to Nigeria not as an oil executive but as a woman on the ground, presumably working with Tobodo. An upbeat ending for a story that is shot through with dark motives, lies, deception and mercantile dishonesties.

PS: A British reviewer of the drama mentioned the damage this sort of interpretation of the Niger Delta problem might do to Nigeria's tourism industry. Some damage, if you asked me, that is if Nigeria had any worthwhile ‘tourism industry' in the first place. And a couple of days ago, Channel 4's Unreported World was about the Jos conflict, the bloodstained binary hostilities between formerly cohabitant Christians and Muslims. Even for Nigerians to whom what is happening makes no more sense than it does to a foreign observer, it is chilling to hear young men saying things like ‘I killed six people' without any self-consciousness, any scruple, without any sense of consequence. Blood.And.Oil. (Part 1- {Blood And Oil Part 2-

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