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LFF 17_ Brochure high res

23 DOCUMENTARY SPECIAL PRESENTATION SUN 8 MON 9 14:30 OLS 21:00 HACKNEY THE FINAL YEAR Dir Greg Barker. Prod Julie Goldman, John Battsek, Greg Barker. With Samantha Power, John Kerry, Ben Rhodes, Susan Rice, President Barack Obama. USA 2017. 89min. Prod Co Passion Pictures, Motto Pictures SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS DOC The final, momentous year of the Obama administration is documented with extraordinary intimacy by Greg Barker, whose Manhunt screened in the LFF2013 Documentary Competition. With an election looming, The Final Year observes the administration’s key players in foreign policy as they work to cement their gains in international relations, painstakingly negotiated over two terms. Barker gained unprecedented access to four central figures: Secretary of State John Kerry; Samantha Power, United States Ambassador to the United Nations; Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor, and Barack Obama himself. What emerges is a portrait of an administration keen to secure its legacy, whether it’s climate change or Syria. Or a concerted attempt to shift the perception of America’s approach to foreign policy, from one enforced by military might to one of engagement, diplomacy and consensus. The urgency of their international work is juxtaposed against the turmoil of an election at home, which shifted from a foregone conclusion to the gradual realisation of just how different the incoming administration was likely to be. A tense and rich work that offers insight into the mechanisms of international relations, The Final Year is also a sobering look at how diplomacy is far tougher than bellicosity. Tricia Tuttle SPECIAL PRESENTATION MON 9 FRI 13 18:30 CHELSEA 14:30 OLS Dir-Scr Michael Haneke. Prod Margaret Ménégoz. With Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Mathieu Kassovitz, Fantine Harduin, Franz Rogowski, Toby Jones. France-Austria- Germany 2017. 107min. UK Distribution Curzon Artificial Eye Michael Haneke ingeniously reworks and updates the enduringly relevant themes of all his previous films in one brief, brilliant, sometimes slyly satirical gem. Though set in Calais, Happy End never shows ‘the Jungle’, focusing instead on a construction dynasty seemingly blind to the unfortunates across town. Anne (Huppert) oversees the business now that her embittered father Georges (Trintignant) is unable to cope; her doctor brother Thomas (Kassovitz), meanwhile, is getting reacquainted with his teenage daughter since his ex-wife’s overdose. Indeed, everyone in the family seems frustrated or lonely… Haneke’s dark, sardonic yet quietly compassionate picture of contemporary life as experienced by complacently well-off Europeans is as formally inventive, morally relevant and psychologically astute as ever, yet its wholly compelling drama is here leavened by bracing moments of absurdist humour. The refugees and poor? Seldom seen, constantly there… Superbly performed, this is formidably intelligent filmmaking. Geoff Andrew HAPPY END


LFF 17_ Brochure high res
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