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Vanessa McMahon

Vanessa is a novel writer, screenwriter, rep and a film producer. She shares her discoveries and film surprises. :-)



Sweet Crude



Sweet Crude (2009) is a documentary film made by Sandy Cioffi about the crude oil problem in Nigeria that has caused much heated debate over the last fifty years of unregulated oil drilling which has resulted in major health problems and pollution in the Niger Delta.

Sandy Cioffi began wanting to tell a story about schools in Nigeria and ended up with a much harsher story to tell than she never believed possible; nevertheless, a story that needed telling. After two years of filming and nearly finished, the Niger government confiscated all of their film footage and imprisoned the entire film crew. While the crew was in prison the Nigerian government pretended not to know them and their film footage went missing; they still have no idea what happened to the film. They were in prison for a week for their controversial film and had to petition the USA for their release. Upon discharge after a week, they were forced to start their film from scratch. During their Q and A at the Palm Springs Film Festival almost the entire film crew attended to represent the film and a producer broke into tears as she recounted their experience in the Nigerian prison. Sandy voiced that to her, ‘preventative diplomacy’ is the only answer even for defense of this international fight against unregulated oil extraction and free market in oil. This remarkable indie documentary film from the front lines ends with this thought provoking question: “What if world pays attention when it’s too late?”                       

Written by, Vanessa McMahon

see film trailer here:


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