Esther & The Law - English subtitled

Documentary about Nigerian Esther Kiobel’s fight against Shell. Her husband was executed after revolting against Shell’s pollution of Ogoniland. Esther is convinced Shell was involved in the execution. But how do you prove this?

Time & Tickets

‘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.

ESTHER & THE LAW takes us from Dallas, where Esther now lives, to Nigeria where she is trying to mobilise witnesses for her court case against Shell. In the Dutch courtroom, Esther is supported 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.

Tatiana Scheltema, Netherlands, 2023, 72 min. Yoruba, Dutch & English spoken, English subtitles.