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Syriana is a 2005 geopolitical thriller film written and directed by Stephen Gaghan, and executive produced by George Clooney, who also stars in the film with an ensemble cast. Gaghan’s screenplay is loosely adapted from Robert Baer’s memoir See No Evil. The film focuses on petroleum politics, and the global influence of the oil industry, whose political, economic, legal, and social effects are experienced by a CIA operative (George Clooney), an energy analyst (Matt Damon), a Washington attorney (Jeffrey Wright), and a young unemployed Pakistani migrant worker (Mazhar Munir) in an Arab country in the Persian Gulf. The film also features an extensive supporting cast including Amanda Peet, Tim Blake Nelson, and Christopher Plummer, as well as Academy Award winners Chris Cooper and William Hurt.
As with Gaghan’s screenplay for Traffic, Syriana uses multiple, parallel storylines, jumping from locations in Texas, Washington D.C., Switzerland, Spain, and Lebanon.