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Obama: The Final Year Netflix Documentary

Obama: The Final Year Netflix Documentary

Obama: The Final Year Netflix Documentary

Film Review by Lefty G

The past couple of weeks in US Foreign Policy news has been an absolute whirlwind.  North Korea surprised the rest of the world by signalling their intention to begin negotiations, President Trump surprised his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson by firing him via Twitter, but not before shocking absolutely everyone with his announcement of stiff steel and aluminum tariffs.
Greg Barker's "Obama: The Final Year Netflix Documentary", which recently became available on Netflix, gives us an inside look at the very different Foreign Policy world that existed less than two years ago.
Obama: The Final Year Netflix Documentary follows the Obama team - Secretary of State John Kerry, UN Ambassador Samantha Power, and Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes - as they tirelessly work on initiatives that the viewer knows the next President will be working to reverse.
This knowledge of the inevitability of Donald Trump hangs over the entire film, especially when the principal actors are speaking about projects such as the Paris Climate Accord or the Iran Nuclear Deal.
The very different priorities of the Obama administration are continually jarring.  This was only a year ago - but it feels like a distant memory.
We follow the arduous and vital work of these individuals for an entire year, which feels taxing even when packed into a dense 90-minute film.  And at the end of it all we see their reactions to the realization that Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States.
The normally eloquent Ben Rhodes, who is earlier assuring others that Trump will not be elected, is rendered speechless.  Samantha Power looks numbed.
Yet this film offers a lot more than just a contrast to the current administration.  After all, when the filming began Donald Trump as President was anything but a certainty.
The film gives us an insider's look at the White House and the intricacies of foreign policy.  It also serves as an interesting character study of these individuals who shaped America's interactions with the world during the Obama years.

Obama's Reaction to Donald Trump's Election Win

Of course we also see plenty of Obama, including his own reaction to the election of Donald Trump in it's immediate aftermath.  Obama takes the long view, arguing that though there are bumps along the road, in the end "the trend lines ultimately will be in the direction of a less violent, more empathetic, more generous world."
Time will show if these words are prophetic, or simply naive.

 

My Rating!
(4 / 5)

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