RHIZOBIA: ESTHER & THE LAW INCL. Q&A
Rhizobia is a forward thinking series of events in which LAB111 alongside Stichting Art. 1, explore various prescient environmental issues and global perspectives on climate change through the spectre of film.
What does it take to go against a multinational? Esther Kiobel’s husband Barinem was one of the men executed in 1995 after revolting against Shell’s pollution of Ogoniland (Nigeria). Almost 25 years later, Esther takes Shell to court in the Netherlands. ‘He was a peacemaker,’ Esther Kiobel says. She’s talking about her husband Barinem, one of the ‘Ogoni 9’. In the early 1990s, the Ogoni people in the Niger Delta revolted against Shell’s activities there. The oil extraction caused much pollution, while the population did not see a cent of the enormous revenues. In a trial flawed with irregularities, nine Ogoni leaders were sentenced to death. Esther is convinced Shell was involved in the executions. But can she prove that? We go from Dallas (US), where Esther now lives, to Ogoniland where she is trying to mobilize witnesses for her court case against Shell. In the Dutch courtroom, Esther is flanked by a committed group of lawyers, led by Channa Samkalden. But they face the extremely difficult task of having to prove Shell bribed witnesses. The trial brings up a lot of old emotions. And between headstrong Esther and her lawyers, tensions sometimes flare up as well.
Screening Includes a Q&A afterwards with director Tatiana Scheltema Tatiana Scheltema is an investigative journalist and documentary maker specializing in complex and sensitive topics surrounding human rights and the rule of law. Tatiana studied film at the LFS in London and produced and directed various short films. ‘Esther & the Law’ is her first feature documentary.
In attendance to the director there will be a second speaker, Hieske Arts: Hiske Arts is a campaigner for ‘Stop Fossil Financing’ at the organization Fossil Free NL. Before she worked on the successful campaign to make ABP (the biggest pension fund in the Netherlands) fossil free. In the yearly ‘Sustainable 100’ list of newspaper Trouw, the ABP campaign was ranked first place in 2021. Moderated by Jan Willem van Rooij, coordinator events and partnerships at Movies that Matter
This film screening is a collaboration with Movies that Matter.Website