It is a pity that Bob Light "nodded off" while watching Syriana (SR, March), as it is one of the more ambitious and intelligent political films to have come out of Hollywood for some time.
Syriana's characters are flawed and complex - there are no heroes. The malaise it explores is international and above all institutionalised.
While The Constant Gardener renders Africans as passive victims, Syriana has a narrative strand focusing on a young Pakistani man working in the Middle East, who, as a result of being shafted by an oil company and beaten by the police, is seduced into an act of terrorism by Islamic fundamentalists.
Syriana suggests that the gap between the pieties of politicians like Bush and Blair and their real economic and political interests is now part of popular knowledge.