Eye For Film >> Movies >> Europe At Sea (2017) Film Review
Europe At Sea
Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson
At just over an hour long, Annalisa Piras' documentary offers a whistle-stop introduction to some of the factors affecting the thorny, and rather euphemistically titled "security of Europe", ranging from the migrant crisis through to Brexit, instability in the Middle East to the election of Donald Trump and the rise of populist politics.
The main hook for this made-for-TV film is the presence at its heart of Federica Mogherini, the EU high representative of foreign affairs and security policy, who Piras' cameras follow during a turbulent year-and-a-half during which she tried to put in place an EU Global Stategy. At 43 when elected, she is the youngest EU commissioner but wastes no time in getting down to business. The film fully embraces Mogherini's bubble, essentially outlining her approach to the continent's problems in a way that is unapologetically partisan and pro-European but which is supported by a decent raft of facts.
Her voice is backed by a chorus of other heavy hitters, including former NATO secretary general Lord Robertson, the current incumbent Jens Stoltenberg and former head of the British Army Lord Richards. In between the traditional talking heads, Piras includes a wide range of news footage, showing the operation to stop migrants from drowning in a bid to reach Europe alongside major political developments across the globe, including the Republican election victory. More of the opposing arguments would be welcome, but this film takes an 'it's Federica's way or the highway' approach.
It's testament to the current galloping news cycle that even though the film's trajectory runs up to the end of last year, it already feels slightly behind the times, especially in terms of events in the US and Korea. There's also a tabloid feel to proceedings, with portentous voice-over from Ferdy Roberts and the use of slick but choppy editing to ensure we notice how dramatic everything is. The upside of this is that Piras never lingers too long for the politics to get boring, even if there's always a sense of just touching the tip of the issues. Complex situations call for complex examinations, but as a pro-European primer, this is effective and proves to be a quietly persuasive argument for viewing ourselves as part of a more global community. As someone succinctly notes: "Small could be beautiful, but it's not effective."
Europe At Sea is available now on Amazon VoDReviewed on: 01 Dec 2017