He was elected last sunday, the new head of the State, the highest representative of Germany, Joachim Gauck is Germany’s new President. He was nominated for the second time and after he had lost agains Christian Wulff in 2010 he received 991 votes at this sundays election. The quick second chance for his election was due to the scandal around Wulff, his private loans and a series of doubtful parties. It wasn´t a massive political scandal, but it was enough of a dent to his persona to make him resign from his position. Sadly I couldn´t find German productions that deserve the name political thriller. But there are quite a few films dealing with American politics. So this week a small selection of films that take us to the heart of politics…
All the President´s Men (D: Alan J. Pakula, USA 1976)
Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman play the Journalists Woodward and Bernstein. The Duo played a main role in uncovering the Watergate-scandal, which resulted in Us-President Richard Nixon receding from office. The Story including meetings in the car park with informants called Deep Throat sound like they´ve been made up, but is actually true in large parts. All the President´s men could take four Oscars home with this political thriller.
Another movie on this topic is the film Frost/Nixon (R:Ron Howard, USA 2008), based on Peter Morgans play, it focuses on the interviews of TV- reporter Frost and the President.
The Fog of War (D: Errol Morris, USA 2003)
Although this is a documentary, this film is breathtaking. Robert McNamara was John F. Kennedys and later Lyndon B. Johnsons minister of defence and thus a key figure in both the Cuba-Crises and the Vietnam war. He was at the heart of American politics during a time of great turbulence and speaks openly about the events. Grippingly staged the spectator hangs on McNamaras lips and is dying to find out how the decisions behind closed doors are formed. The Fog of War is brave and definitely worth seeing!
JFK (R: Oliver Stone, USA 1991)
There´s probably thousands of explanations, conspiracy theories and thoughts on the assassination of John F. Kennedy. In Oliver Stones Film, Kevin Costner is the relentless prosecutor leading the investigation. But although the killing of JFK will most likely remain unsolved the version presented by Donald Sutherland as Mr. X here does seem very plausible…
The Ides of March (R: George Clooney, USA 2011)
I´ve already expressed my enthusiasm for this film in the previous Ryan Gosling Post. The world of American Preliminaries is screened in this film. The craving for power leads to corruption, human ideals seem displaced and the hopes of changing the world through political involvement seems illusory. The film is uncompromising, Ryan Gosling is great and George Clooney cold as ice.