The President

2016

The President (2016)

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The President tells the story of a dictator who comes face to face with the people he previously subjugated. The President and his family rule their land with an iron fist, enjoying lives of luxury and leisure at the expense of their population's misery. When a coup d'état overthrows his brutal rule and the rest of his family flees the country by plane, The President is suddenly left to care for his young grandson and forced to escape. Now the country's most wanted fugitive with a bounty on his head, The President begins a perilous journey with the boy, criss-crossing the country to reach the sea where a ship waits to bring them to safety. Posing as street musicians and traveling together with the people who suffered for years under the dictatorship, the fallen President and the innocent child will be exposed first hand to the hardships that inspired unanimous hatred for the regime.

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Critic Reviews for The President

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (9)

Even though The President lacks some of the subtlety that made Makhmalbaf's previous work transcendent, this film is still a worthy testament to a fiery storyteller determined to use the medium as a necessary means of subversion.

Jan 1, 2017 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
indieWire
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Although Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf says "The President" was inspired by the turbulent events of the Arab Spring, there's also a timeless quality to this absorbing and powerful fable that provides added resonance.

Jul 21, 2016 | Full Review…

Makhmalbaf makes you feel the enormity of the President's loss of self even if you don't actually feel for him.

Jul 21, 2016 | Full Review…

Though the film's conclusion is viscerally harrowing (and very well staged, like most of the movie), its attempt to say something about how cycles of violence need to be ended in order for democracy to succeed tyranny seems vague and pat.

Jun 3, 2016 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

The actual moral of the story is more trite and utopian, but still powerful: Democracy can't take root until the impulse for vengeance is gone.

Jun 2, 2016 | Full Review…

Many scenes seem designed to illustrate platitudes, at the expense of the narrative.

May 31, 2016 | Full Review…

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