An admirable and admirable documentary about a German political pioneer – The Hollywood Reporter

Since Angela Merkel left office last year after a remarkable 16-year reign as Chancellor of Germany, the perfect time to take a look at her history and legacy. German-born filmmaker Eva Weber has embraced the challenge and created a thought-provoking portrait of Mrs. An impressive group of witnesses – including Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, Tony Blair, journalist Christiane Amanpour and even award-winning filmmaker Volker Schlondorff (a longtime friend of Mrs. Her achievements and even some of her failures became the focus.

Merkel’s background is also notable as she rises up the central corridors of power. She grew up in East Germany under the repressive Communist regime but achieved unusual success earning a doctorate in physics. So she was a pioneer in several fields – both as a scientist and as a woman before she entered politics. Her life spanned much of the history of the Cold War. She recalls the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 and its demolition in 1989.


Key point

An appropriate tribute to a political breakthrough.

Her memories of life in East Germany are particularly vivid. She recalled in an interview that at almost every social gathering of at least 20 people, a member of the Stasi was likely lurking in the background. So the fall of Communism came as a relief for her. Not long after, she decided to enter politics and in 2005 she was Chancellor of Germany.

When Merkel took the reins of a united Germany (partly as a result of the scandal that rocked the administration of her predecessor Helmut Kohl), she faced a lot of resistance as a political leader. a rare female leader in a male-dominated elite. But her intelligence quickly earned her the respect of world leaders. When she met Vladimir Putin, she found that of course they had similar circumstances growing up under the repressive Communist regime. But the huge difference is that Putin sees the breakup of the Soviet Union as the worst event of his life, while Merkel sees it as total liberation.

One strong criticism of Ms. Merkel, however, concerns her relationship with Putin’s Russia. She helped achieve unprecedented prosperity for Germany, but her critics argue that this is the result of her over-reliance on Russian energy, a type of dealing with the devil of course not. only in Merkel.

Another crisis has put her in a very different light. When the situation in Syria led to an influx of migrants from the Middle East, Merkel welcomed the refugees. This has led to a backlash against her from many right-wing elements in Germany and in other parts of the world. Trump savagely criticized her, while Obama bluntly said, “she’s on the right side of history.” During his presidency, Obama presented Merkel with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and before his term ended, the visit to Merkel was one of his last official acts in office. President.

Trump plays only a small role in Merkel’s story, as it should. But the contrast between his toxic mantra of “Build the Wall” and Merkel’s memorial to the fall of the Berlin Wall tells the underlying story. At a time when so many world leaders have gone to the dark side, Mrs. Merkel’s intelligence and modesty deserve to be celebrated.

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