Two locally produced documentaries, with English subtitles, are well worth checking out on the big screen this week.
Ever wondered what life was like for a foreign affairs minister, travelling the world from meeting to meeting with diplomats, government leaders and presidents? Pasha Rafiy’s “Foreign Affairs” offers audiences an insight into a year in the life of Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg’s minister of foreign affairs (pictured). The former mayor of Steinfort, where he still lives and tends to his garden, as the film reveals, is one of the most experienced foreign affairs ministers in the world.
The documentary, produced by Jean-Louis Schuller for Les Films Fauves, is packed with tense meetings at the United Nations security council, Israel and in Teheran, with more light-hearted encounters (a chat with Jean-Claude Juncker at the European Commission is hilarious) and personal moments as Asselborn mows his lawn or cycles in the Alps. The minister’s schedule is exhausting, but the film conveys with sympathy his enthusiasm for the job and his tireless efforts to find diplomatic solutions to some of the most pressing problems the world is currently facing.
A more sober but equally impressive documentary comes in the shape of Pol Cruchten’s award-winning film “Voices From Chernobyl”. Based on the book of witness testaments by Nobel prize winner Svetlana Alexievich, the film voices the eyewitness accounts of survivors of the nuclear disaster some 30 years after it happened.
Scientists, teachers, journalists, couples, children talk about their former life before the disaster, and the suffering they have experienced and witnesses since the catastrophe.