I really liked the documentary, Sweet Crude. It opened up my eyes to a situation that I was not aware of. What I found to be most inspirational was how young the people who were fighting against the oil companies were. They were students, like me, or a little older.  Sometimes it is hard for the youth in America to get organized and fight for what they want instead of just whining and complaining.  I found the students in the Niger Delta very inspirational. I especially found their persistence of nonviolence to be remarkable.  I know that not everyone fighting for self-determination and talks with the government did so peacefully but the majority seemed to be.  They were well organized, with clear goals, and knew exactly how they wanted to go about trying to achieve their goals.  Too bad no one wanted to listen.

          The most disturbing part of the documentary was when the American news reports were shown. I could not believe, and yet I was not surprised, that the American media portrayed a group of student activists as terrorists.  Like the journalists in Half of a Yellow Sun, the journalist who interviewed the spokesperson for MEND had already decided the answers he wanted before he conducted the interview.  I wish so badly that I could help bring international attention to this issue.  I hope that Sandy Cioffi’s documentary and efforts will be successful. I plan on doing my part by planning a SOFAS (student organization for African studies) event either later this semester or in the fall.


About Bethany

I am a Junior at American University, pursuing a degree in International Studies. I am particularly interested in development in Africa, especially when it comes to education. I am going abroad to Senegal for the spring semester and will be writing about my adventures here.

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