Spotlight: New Film Reflects on Obama-era U.S. International Relations (Video)

America's former UN Ambassador Samantha Power (center), a former journalist, is one of the fascinating U.S. diplomats highlighted in the new documentary "The Final Year" released this month by Magnolia Pictures. (Illustration by Adam Maida/The New Yorker)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

January 29th, 2018

New York (TADIAS) — The last time we featured news on our website about Samantha Power, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President Barack Obama, she was expressing “grave concerns” on behalf of her country about “excessive use of force against protesters in Ethiopia.”

Ambassador Power, who is a former journalist, is one of the main characters in the new documentary The Final Year, reflecting on President Obama’s last year in the White House through the eyes of his top international diplomats. As the Associated Press notes the film, which is produced by Magnolia Pictures, is “a behind-the-scenes look at President Barack Obama’s globe-trotting foreign policy team…[including] Secretary of State John Kerry and longtime Obama aide Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser for strategic communications. Obama himself speaks occasionally to the cameras, as does National Security Adviser Susan Rice.”

In his director’s statement the filmmaker Greg Barker says looking back he was indeed witnessing a fast-disappearing moment in history. “In retrospect, what our cameras captured was more than just high-ranking government officials at work, as fascinating and informative as that may be,” Barker writes. “We captured a worldview, an attitude, an approach to international affairs that—we now know — was fleeting, unique to a particular moment.”

At the end, as the New Yorker reminds us “it’s impossible, in 2018, to view “The Final Year” except through the crazy prism of what happened next.”


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