The Final Year captures the calm before the storm. With an upcoming (and controversial) election on the horizon, director Greg Barker gained exclusive access to the Obama administration by chronicling activity by the former president and his foreign policy team.
The subjects on-screen are usually defined by their politics, but Barker has made an interesting decision to make a film that isn’t “political”; the message is much more than that. The Final Year is about the effects and longevity of a human connection. It’s an observational study on the art of genuine interest and concern. There isn’t a moment of doubt from the subjects (or in the film’s edit) as Barack Obama addresses crowds along with other members of his team demonstrating empathetic opinions about issues they’re responsible for. Naysayers who had issues with the two-term administration most likely won’t change their opinions, but I would hope the amount of encouragement The Final Year offers is enough to evoke a refreshing flashback.
There’s also a hint of naiveté in the air as a certain billionaire’s aspirations to become the 45th president of the USA are shrugged off by intelligent people. It’s appropriately awkward knowing what we know now, but it gives movie goers confirmation that modern nostalgia does exist.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie