Director, Greg Barker, and his crew follow Obama and his Foreign Policy team throughout the course of his final year as president in 2016.
My biggest observation while watching this film, would be the audio levels. Although I was a fan of this film, and I learned a lot, at points in the film, the audio levels were out of control. A few instances when Ben Rhodes was being interviewed, his audio was noticeably louder than the previous and following audio. These high audio levels occurred a few more instances throughout the film, including the closing soundtrack.
Along with the high audio levels, at some points the camera was so shaky I felt I was about to have motion sickness. I understand these shots were mostly hand-held, and on-the-go, but as a viewer, feeling motion sickness was not a great feeling. However, this only happened two or three times throughout the film. Where the movement of the camera was too much. Besides those few moments, there were still-shots that balanced the shakiness, especially when someone was being interviewed. Those still- shots were smooth and pleasing to watch.
Moreover, besides the handful of high audio levels and shaky shots, this film was able to humanize politics, and that was my favorite part of the film. The audience was able to see that these politicians are not robots, they are not unrelatable and serious all the time.
We were able to what their daily lives are really like and what lies behind the scenes of politics.
A few humorous parts made them feel more humanized and relatable. For example, when Ben Rhodes was trying to get into a vehicle, but his backpack was stuck and his keychain got caught on the headrest. It was funny because we could relate. Or when Rhodes handed Barack Obama a speech that had a misspelled word, and instead of Obama getting mad or someone getting chewed-out, we see Obama say “Come on now,” laugh at the minor mistake, then walked on stage to give his speech.
We see Samantha Power playing with her kids and taking them to school. When Power visits Nigeria and talks with a women whose daughters and husbands were taken from her, we see Power getting emotional at the thought of her kids being taken away from her. And tells the cameraman that her son’s seventh birthday is coming up. Showing this helps the audience connect with Power on an emotional level. Yes, she was a politician under Obama, but she is also a mother. A mother who cares and loves her children like any human being would.