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Delta Boys explores the untold stories of the Niger Delta and the Niger Delta militancy. This intimate look at the militias, their goals, and their global impact, follows the lives of two militants: Ateke Tom, the “Godfather” of the Niger Delta Vigilante Force, and Chima, a 21-year-old who escaped prison with Ateke’s help. The film also documents life in a tiny fishing village where Mama, a 22-year-old, struggles to give birth to her first child with the help of a traditional midwife and no access to modern medical care, while raids are launched from a militant camp across the river. The personal stories of Chima, Ateke, and Mama reflect a broader global struggle, one between entrenched power and corporate interests and an underserved population. Nigeria is the world’s eighth largest exporter of oil. Yet, despite this natural wealth, the majority of Niger Deltans continue to live in poverty. Ateke’s militants, along with other groups, have called for a greater distribution of wealth and jobs. When their requests have been ignored, they’ve attacked oil installations and pipelines, kidnapped foreigners, and made the entire Delta a no-go zone. But many feel that while the Niger Delta struggle is legitimate, the militants’ motives are not so pure.
Delta Boys is a Cinereach grantee.