The President (2016)
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Critic Reviews for The President
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.
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.
Makhmalbaf makes you feel the enormity of the President's loss of self even if you don't actually feel for him.
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.
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.
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