March 22, 2018
When young and idealistic Michael lands his dream job at the United Nations, he quickly finds himself at the centre of the Oil for Food programme. He learns the ropes from Pasha, a seasoned diplomat with a considerable ego. After a UN official is killed in Iraq, Pasha needs a fresh face to present a report on the success of Oil for Food to the UN Security Council. Michael is the perfect candidate. When Michael discovers that the programme is deeply corrupt, he also realises that he has been instrumental in supporting the bribes paid to Saddam Hussein. The only way out is to expose it all, risking his own life, his mentor’s career and the life of the woman he loves.
Sir Ben Kingsley and Theo James are set to star in the political thriller "Backstabbing for Beginners." Inspired by Michael Soussan’s critically-acclaimed memoir, “Backstabbing for Beginners: My Crash Course in International Diplomacy,” the film tells the story of Michael (James), a young idealist who lands his dream job as a program coordinator for the U.N.’s Oil for Food program. He is thrown into an already fraught post-war Iraq where government agents and power-hungry countries are circling Iraq’s oil reserves like sharks. He seeks answers from the one person he thinks he can trust, Pasha (Kingsley), his boss, a seasoned diplomat. The more Michael learns, however, the more he suspects a conspiracy at the highest level. The only way out will be to expose it all — risking his own life, his mentor’s career, and the life of the Kurdish woman he loves.