Many of us are still reminiscing on the good days of the Obama administration Back when our president was more concerned with policy than tweeting; back when our president respected the diversity of this country instead of insulting Black and brown immigrants; back when our president was a humanist and not a racist. If you miss also our former president, The Final Year is a must-see.
Directed by Greg Baker, the documentary is a look into the last year of the Obama administration by following his foreign policy team, which includes John Kerry, Samantha Power and Ben Rhodes. Viewers see the challenges the team faced, from the conflict in Syria to media scrutiny to the 2016 election. Baker pulls together a tight film with funny, lovable and equally serious moments. This is a White House we haven’t seen before.
The first half of the doc is definitely for political junkies and may not be as appealing to the average person who doesn’t worship Washington. However, the second half kicks into high gear with the 2016 election. It’s fascinating to see the Obama administration watch Trump run for office and, in the final scenes, its reaction when Hillary Clinton loses. The compassion, shock and fear for their country is sincere and Baker’s execution in capturing these moments was flawless.
The only negative of The Final Year is there wasn’t enough of Obama. Clearly, the president was busy in his final year and much of his work is confidential, but it would have been interesting to get a better glimpse of him. Outside of a couple of interviews, Obama’s own narrative is missing from the film, which was an obvious void.
There was one moving moment in particular when Power, then the United States ambassador to the United Nations, strongly disagreed with Obama and Ben Rhoades (Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting) about how the president discussed foreign policy in a speech. Power’s candor was admirable, as she didn’t agree and didn’t hold back her critiques. Now we have a presidency where no one on his team is allowed to disagree — and they even lie for him — like a dictatorship. Times have swiftly changed, which is why it’s so fitting when the doc ends with the classic song “The Times They Are a-Changin’.”
Intimate, revelatory and seriously important, The Final Year is a time capsule of the dignity and grace that was once in The White House.
The Final Year opens in select cites tomorrow. Watch the trailer below.
Happy Birthday, Barack Obama: Photos That Will Make You Miss Your Favorite President
1. Barack Gives Daughter Malia a KissSource:Getty 1 of 29
2. Michelle and Barack tell the kids a storySource:Getty 2 of 29
3. Michelle and Barack KissSource:Getty 3 of 29
4. Michelle and BarackSource:Getty 4 of 29
5. First Family PortraitSource:Getty 5 of 29
6. Two TermsSource:Getty 6 of 29
7. Michelle and Barack host a State DinnerSource:Getty 7 of 29
8. Barack Obama and Michelle ObamaSource:Getty 8 of 29
9. Sunday ChurchSource:Getty 9 of 29
10. Barack Obama and his daughter Malia ObamaSource:Getty 10 of 29
11. A Family AffairSource:Getty 11 of 29
12. Flashback To The Old DaysSource:Pete Souza 12 of 29
13. Happy Birthday!Source:Getty 13 of 29
14. Candidly AwesomeSource:Pete Souza 14 of 29
15. Historic First FamilySource:Getty 15 of 29
16. Ice Cream TreatSource:Getty 16 of 29
17. TV TimeSource:Pete Souza 17 of 29
18. Hawaii Trip!Source:Getty 18 of 29
19. Obama Loves Team USA & His WifeSource:Getty 19 of 29
20. Reading TimeSource:Pete Souza 20 of 29
21. Family SupportSource:Getty 21 of 29
22. Supporting MomSource:Pete Souza 22 of 29
23. Giving Back On MLK DaySource:Getty 23 of 29
24. Obamas Give Back To The CommunitySource:Getty 24 of 29
25. Always Supporting Small BusinessesSource:Getty 25 of 29
26. Obama SwaggerSource:Getty 26 of 29
27. Laughs & TurkeysSource:Getty 27 of 29
28. Christmas With The ObamasSource:Getty 28 of 29
29. 50th Anniversary Of March On SelmaSource:Pete Souza 29 of 29
‘The Final Year’ Review: A Time Capsule Of The Dignity That Was Once In The White House was originally published on newsone.com