Vaclav Havel confirms his status as one of the most likable men to ever win office in this intriguing film, made over nearly a decade. It's a measure of the man that he's prepared to be so open (joking about his hopes to lose the election, complaining about American food) and shows the contrast with most of today's micro-managed spin-friendly gravy train riders. Many of his meetings take place in smoke and alcohol filled rooms, further marking him as a politician of the old school. The action centres not so much on political decision making (the president is largely a ceremonial position) but more the niceties of diplomacy, both foreign and working with a prime minister he despised. There are plenty of laughs to be had as well as poignant episodes such as the death of his first wife, which is sensitively handled. One of the most illuminating political films of the 21st century.
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