HBO’s Obama Documentary to Air May 21

HBO will premiere the documentary The Final Year, about President Barack Obama’s foreign policy during the last year of his presidency, Monday, May 21. 

The Final Year, directed by Greg Barker, “offers an insider’s look at key figures, including Secretary of State John Kerry, UN Ambassador Samantha Power, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes and National Security Advisor Susan Rice, as they sought to promote diplomacy and redefine how the U.S. confronts questions of war and peace, all while preparing to hand over the machinery of American power to a new administration,” said HBO.

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Barker shot the film from late 2015 to the morning of Inauguration Day in 2017. He shot at the White House, the State Department and the United Nations, and in 21 countries, including Cuba, Germany, Japan, Myanmar, Nigeria, the U.K. and Vietnam.

Events chronicled in the film include then Secretary of State Kerry in Vienna for the Iran Nuclear Deal; advisor Rhodes writing President Obama’s speech in Japan to mark the 71st anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing; and UN Ambassador Power hosting a gathering with Madeleine Albright, Gloria Steinem and female UN ambassadors on Election Night, the group realizing Hillary Clinton won’t be the next president.

The Final Year had its world premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.

In addition to the Emmy-winning Manhunt: The Inside Story of the Hunt for Bin Laden, director Barker’s HBO credits include Homegrown: The Counter-Terror Dilemma, Koran by Heart and Sergio.

Barker produced the film along with Julie Goldman and John Battsek.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the L.A. Times and New York magazine.