Beneath the surface - hope and anger in the Niger Delta


A community’s quest for justice. Oil companies pursuit of benefit. A region in the heart of Africa and the human cost of living in it. Oil extraction and conflict in the Niger Delta are strongly interconnected. The story takes us from 1999, the murder of Ken Saro-Wiwa and others, and the massacre of citizens in Odi in Bayesala, in which the army killed 2.500 civilians and typifies the oppression in the region, to today. Nigeria’s oil reserves are at the heart of this conflict.


All beauty of nature stands weak facing humanities reckless hunger for
oil and the disastrous consequnces of our ruthless abuse.


Partner: BICC
Funding: open
Implem.: Spring 2012

Watch the video 'Suffri' by Nneka.
Internecine war and conflict between ethnic groups in the Delta predated the discovery of oil. However the nature of these conflicts has been altered by the oil economy. Notably, Translational Oil Companies have exacerbated violence in the area through land-use payments, environmental damage, price inflation and corruption.

In the documentary film 'Beneath the surface' the protagonists set out to prove what the long-term damage is to human individuals and the communities who stand in the way of exploitation. To establish the context the film also investigates what could be done differently and what they see as possible long-term solutions for these conflicts. 'Beneath the surface' ties the loose ends together in a documentary that is chilling and yet also encouraging.

Format: MiniDV 16:9
Duration: 45 min.
Genre: Documentary