Thursday, December 1, 2016

Film Review: The Diplomat

The Diplomat, David Holbrooke, Richard Holbrooke

I saw a movie last night called The Diplomat. It's a documentary about a real-life person named Richard Holbrooke. You might know Richard Holbrooke as the guy who brokered the Dayton Accords which ended the war in Bosnia in 1995. You might also know him as the Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan under Secretary Clinton. Holbrooke tried to sell President Obama on his Afghanistan policy until the day he died. On that very day, he had an appointment with David Axelrod at the White House, but Axelrod wouldn't give him time in the Oval. Holbrooke and Obama didn't get along, as it turned out. That dynamic, as portrayed in the film, fascinated me.

Anyway, I saw this documentary at  a special screening. After I finished watching it, the director, David Holbrooke, answered questions about its making and talked about his subject, who was also his father. You can imagine that Richard Holbrooke might have been something of an absentee dad, what with all the State Department positions he held in the administrations of three different presidents.

Luckily, it seemed like David had mostly forgiven his dad for being gone a lot. At least, he totally understands that his dad was doing really important stuff while not at home. I was pleased to note that David seemed pretty well-adjusted.

Here's how The Diplomat impacted me:

  • I felt like I should know more about foreign affairs. I found some podcasts from the Council on Foreign Relations, so that ought to help.
  • It reaffirmed my commitment to education. Kids need to understand that big, complex problems can get solved, and that they can be part of those solutions.
  • It made me want to be a risk-taker. Yes, there are big decisions and tough choices, and not everyone is going to like you. But, being liked isn't the whole thing. Sometimes it's more about looking around, learning, rolling up your sleeves, and trying some things.
I highly recommend The Diplomat.  5 stars! You don't have to go to a special screening, but if there's one available, you probably should. It's always good to talk to the artist and understand what he was trying to accomplish. I like that.

1 comment:

LH said...

Geez Louise. That documentary sounds awesome.

I'm ON IT!