Transfer: n/a Extras: n/a
Genre: Documentary / Hot Docs 2014
Synopsis: Low-key coverage of the first face-to-face meeting between diplomats from Kosovo and Serbia, and the negotiations to begin mapping out formal territorial boundaries.
Special Features: n/a
In an era when one televised war is replaced with another and rarely revisited by the media after the most explosive phase has passed, Karen Stokkendal Poulsen’s hour-long film reminds us of the slow and petty details that need to be sorted by former warring parties prior to achieving peace and economic rebirth: renew formal talks between two cultures with shared histories and traumatic events, and more unique to this case, meet European Union requirements to begin the process of candidacy for the EU.
The characters in The Agreement are superficially bureaucratic: the former teacher-turned-politician from Kosovo (Edita Tahiri); the former rock musician (Borko Stefanovic) whose anti-Slobodan Milošević songs seeded an eventual career as a Serbian diplomat; and an apolitical, poetry-loving history buff (Robert Cooper) with the EU whose patience and skills as a negotiator must produce results to ensure the framework for further rapprochement is in place.
Sometimes petty, amusing, wry, and procedural, the nuances of perhaps the most banal aspect of the healing process is documented with Poulsen’s candid camera. The conclusion isn’t unexpected, but the figures’ respective struggles to remain civil and communicative are fascinating, especially for European history and political wonks.
© 2014 Mark R. Hasan
Category: Blu-ray / DVD Film Review