© Kool/Filmagentinnen

Der Aufsteiger (The Minister, L’exercice de l’État)
France/Belgium 2011

Opening 22 Nov 2012

Directed by: Pierre Schöller
Writing credits: Pierre Schöller
Principal actors: Olivier Gourmet, Michel Blanc, Zabou Breitman, Laurent Stocker, Sylvain Deblé

The film starts with a bus accident where 18 youths died. The Minister for Transport is rudely awoken from his nightmarish dreams, involving a crocodile and a naked woman, and has to rush to the scene of the horrible crash. He gives a speech to the press that has been hurriedly written by his personal secretary. The next urgent meeting awaits him. One emergency chases the next. He is ambitious and lets himself get pushed into more and more “deals”. Soon he is drawn into an economic crisis, a power struggle far too complex for him to grasp its consequences. As an opportunist he gets hooked into the power game and loses track of who is friend and who is not. By breaking with his long-term friends he is breaking away from his ideals as well.

Politics is portrayed as a ruthless business. The action is fast and the cast of fine actors (Olivier Gourmet, Michel Blanc and Zabour Breitman) brings the characters to life in a frantic and ever changing world of politics. Director Pierre Schoeller wrote his script around the very human figure of the minister as an engrossing political thriller which is not without humour. (Birgit Schrumpf)

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