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Niger Delta Struggles Finally Shown On Big Screen

UNITED NATIONS, Sep 28 2012 (IPS) - While heads of state are addressing the most pressing global issues during the 67th session of General Assembly this week, with growing conflict in Syria and Iranian nuclear facilities at the forefront, a new film draws major attention to the Niger Delta region.

Kim Basinger at the premiere of ‘Black November’ at the United Nations. Credit: Malgorzata Stawecka/IPS

Sponsored by the Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations, ‘Black November – Struggle for the Niger Delta’ was screened at the United Nations Headquarters Wednesday.

“The horrible inhumane situation in Nigeria has been exposed to the world by this courageous film,” said Don King, renowned boxing promoter and one of ‘Black November’ executive producers, at the screening.

Black November sheds light on Nigeria’s petroleum-rich Niger Delta region along with its local community that struggles against their government and a multi-national oil corporation, after the oil spill disasters has contaminated environment and destroyed their livelihoods.

“Everyday in the Niger Delta there is an oil spill equal to the one that took place from the Exxon Valdez in Alaska and in the Gulf of Mexico. Exxon immediately committed to a large scale clean-up and BP took immediate action to clean up the Gulf of Mexico,” said King.

“Fifty years of oil spills in the Niger Delta and no commitment at all. But what of the thousands of lives that are destroyed in the Niger Delta and no one cares,” he added.

Acclaimed Nigerian movie director, Jeta Amata has created a film that focuses on many problems arising from the Niger Delta region in the last decades, ranging from greed, murder to corruption and environmental degradation.

With a wide range of A-list actors: Vivica Fox,Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger, ‘Black November’ represents an in-depth analysis of Niger-Delta region’s staggering reality.

“This film is a call to action that cannot and must not be ignored. Jeta Amata must be commended for bringing this story to us,” King added.

“Let’s turn the devastation into transformation,” said Congressman Bobby L. Rush, senior democratic member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and a stronger supporter of environmental protection, at Wednesday’s film screening.

In April 2012, Rush submitted a resolution in Congress, urging all stakeholders to make the protection, recovery and economic development of the Niger Delta a priority.

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