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Film Review: “The Final Year” (2017) ★★★★


U.S. President Barack Obama holds a bilateral meeting with Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn (not pictured) in New York September 25, 2014. With Obama from left are Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power and Secretary of State John Kerry.
REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS)

Since November 2017, the world has entered into an era of uncertainty, fear, and anticipation of something horrible that may occur at any time. All this is linked to the newly elected president of the United States – Donald Trump. Many are still trying to figure out how he ended up leading the greatest nation on Earth. What are the real outcomes of this? And why does it make such a difference when one leader enters the oval office after another? Seems like it should not be a bit deal. After watching “The Final Year”, you will see the difference between then and now, especially when it comes to the humanity and compassionate attitude of the previous leader compared with the current one.

With an unprecedented access inside the White House, “The Final Year” offers an absolutely mind-blowing view into the final year of Obama’s presidentship through interviews with John Kerry, Barack Obama, Samantha Power and Ben Rhodes. The film tells about their effort to make the world a safer place to live. Due to that Obama’s Administration was highly regarded around the globe. The film also deals with heavier subjects, as the reasons to not enter Syria’s massacre. It gives answers many will find difficult to dispute.

Like a shadow, the camera follows Samantha Power – the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, capturing her heartwarming speeches, the tears that she can’t hold back at times, and her eagerness to make changes that matter. John Kerry – the Secretary of State, on the other hand, does what he should. We see him not as one of the most influential men on the planet, but as a human being, who has a challenging task to execute – to stop the bloodshed in Syria.

Benjamin Rhodes, the Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, also has a difficult task. We see him almost speechless, devastated after Trump’s victory, and it becomes clear that he knows all the hard work he and his colleagues have done is gone for nothing. The new administration will most probably undo all of it one by one. Then, we hear Barack Obama’s words, such as “We need the diplomacy to give a chance to succeed,” or “From the previous lessons we learn, the presence of our army in Syria would have increased the shed of blood.” Those words tell the truth as it is.

In conclusion, “The Final Year” directed by Greg Baker, is a reminder to all of us of what we had and what we won’t have anymore. Through his camera, the director allows the viewer to get a glimpse of the world where words, diplomacy, patience, and politeness are the tools to win in any situation. It also gives an overview of the things that could have been done differently but were not. It tells us about the Final Year of a tremendous and peaceful presidency, where consciousness and logical thinking was on the top level. It was indeed, a great year for everyone to see and learn from. It is not easy to be a politician. Being a great leader is even harder. One must be born with certain qualities to achieve that status.

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