The Final Year at Toronto International Film Festival

September 12, 2017

This weekend saw the premiere of Greg Barker’s new documentary ‘The Final year’ at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

The movie charts the astoundingly exhaustive efforts by Barak Obama’s diplomatic team to manage complex international problems. The unfettered access to Obama, John Kerry, Samantha Powers, Ben Rhodes and Susan Rice has created an incredible witness document to the often unseen and unappreciated efforts that operate below the surface of a successful administration.

Control Room at Abbey Road during our session. Photo by Nathan Azopardi

We recorded the string score in Abbey Road Studio One with the English Session Orchestra after not many weeks of writing. The soundtrack for this movie was one of the hardest challenges I’ve ever faced as a composer. Putting music under political figures is fraught with ethical and artistic problems. In documentary, the role of the composer is to frame the action, NOT tell the audience what to feel. I wrote entire soundtrack three times until I found a way in, that didn’t feel biased or dramatic.

The reviews from the Hollywood Reporter and Variety are here and I feel reflect the importance and peculiarity of this movie.

Here’s Ben Rhodes – Obama’s speechwriter – speaking after the premiere.

Here’s a track from the movie:

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