Berlinale: Programme

Film file

Competition (out of competition)


Robert Baer (Author)
Alexander Sidding (Actor)
George Clooney (Actor)
Jeffrey Wright (Actor)
Stephan Gaghan (Director)
Host: Rainer Rother

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A tale of intrigue and corruption in the international oil business, told in artistically interwoven episodes. The story begins in an oil-producing country where the nation’s reformist heir to the throne, Prince Nasir, is keen to dissolve the country’s business links to America. For this reason, the Prince promises China the natural gas drilling rights previously owned by US energy giant Connex. At the same time, Texan Jimmy Pope manages to secure for his small company, Killen, drilling rights for Kazakhstan’s much sought-after oil fields. The move awakens Connex’ interest in Killen. Prior to the mer­ger between these two companies, Washington-based legal firm Sloan Whiting – a company renowned for its rigorous rejection of hostile take­overs – is assigned to scrutinize the contract.
Meanwhile, CIA veteran Bob Barnes is in deep trouble. In the wake of his last assignment – to rub out two arms dealers in Teheran – a Stinger missile was inadvertently left in the hands of a mysterious Egyptian. On his return to Washington, Bob is promised a promotion should he decide to accept one last job – to take out Prince Nasir. The assassination attempt fails and Bob is made scapegoat. Bob is pilloried by his superiors until he comes to the realisation that he has been lied to and pushed around, like a pawn in a game of chess. For years he has blindly followed orders, without ever knowing the real motives for his actions.
Ambitious attorney Bennett Holiday and energy analyst Bryan Woodman are in the throes of asserting the interests of their respective clients Connex-Killen and the Prince; meanwhile, behind the scenes, Sloan Whiting’s chief Dean Whiting, is busy pursuing quite different aims – his goal being to scupper the agreement between the heir to the throne and the Chinese.

USA 2005, 126 min


Stephen Gaghan


George Clooney
Matt Damon
Jeffrey Wright
Chris Cooper

World Sales

Warner Bros.