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The Last Mitterand Review

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Drama following the last days in power of a French President, based closely on the experiences of Francois Mitterand, and his legacy.

★★★★★

While ’80s Britain boomed to the iron-lunged roar of a Tory Shezilla, our Gallic cousins were ruled by a left-wing enigma: François Mitterand, a contrary political beast who gave fascism a crack before gilding himself into a national socialist emblem.

At first, Robert Guédiguian’s sombre docu-drama promises to roll up its sleeves and get mucky with the late Mitterand’s murky legacy but, frankly, it’s too highbrow for that. Instead, we’re served a lengthy, rambling dialectic on man-as-nation, as the cancer-ravaged President (Bouquet) hosts a series of closing tête-a-têtes with Lespert’s broody Jewish reporter.

Bouquet gives a delicate performance and there’s an elegant wintry aura throughout, but it’s ultimately too scholarly to engage on any level other than the academic.

Thorough, but sombre and scholarly rambling treatise.

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