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Film Studies Of Syriana

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Stephen Gaghan's film Syriana takes a interesting look at Americas addiction to oil and how this addiction can greatly effect foreign and domestic policy. The film looks through several characters and there perception on how the oil industry is run and how it effects the lives of so many. We live in a world that is driven by the overwhelming need to consume oil. Because of this our economy rests in the hands of those who produce and supply us with what many consider black gold. We must break the addiction to oil and it must be done in a timely manner. The fate of America's survival currently rests in the hands of warlords and unstable country's that are run by the income derived from our enormous consumption.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia last year made a startling statement. He is quoted as saying “ The oil boom is over and will not return. All of us must get used to a different lifestyle.”(Phillips) The Saudi's are America's main supplier of oil and for there king who's wealth is based on our need for oil to say such a thing must make us take a look at how we are barreling ahead towards a point of no return. Oil is currently above 100 dollars a barrel, 5 years ago we did not even have oil prices over $30 a barrel. (Phillips) Last summer when the price of oil skyrocketed to new all time highs the Financial Times published an article that talked about and commented on the peak of our oil consumption. Where we were now on a harsh downward slope relating to our oil supply. The journal is quoted as saying in relation to our peak of consumption that “ this was a defining moment in the history of the global energy industry.”(High)

Syriana begins to comment and almost predicted these trends before they occurred. In the film the US government forcefully acts so that the future Saudi King will continuing to supply the US before any other countries. The Saudi King has two sons Price Nasir Al-Subaai and Price Meshal Al-Subbai. Nasir is targeted by the United States government and labeled as a threat because he wants to begin free trade and revolutionize Saudi Arabia into a westernized state. His reform policy's are contradictory to America's interest because Price Nasir would not favor the US when it came to bids on Saudi Arabia's oil. Because this would mean higher prices and less profit's for oil tycoons and Washington politicians they label Price Nasir as a radical and terrorist. A political rouge agency than convinces the current King to pass on the heir to the younger son Price Meshal. The intrusion into other countries and family's business is remarkable because everything that the United States does is looking out for its own best interest. Even if this means killing a Prince who may want free and open trade.

In the past several years with the war in Iraq creating instability in the region and our deteriorating relations with major oil producing countries such as Venezuela American consumer's are seeing the results of bad policy from Washington and bad planning when it comes to our countries energy needs. There needs to be other options. My greatest fear is that it will take a calamity or a legitimate shortage of oil to bring on this much needed change. This type of calamity would classify itself as either as natural with major reserves of oil being lost, or a man made calamity with the middle east becoming engulfed in a religious war for oil. We are now starting to see through the



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