Karen Stokkendal Poulsen’s film The Agreement will be shown at CPH:DOX on the 11th, the 13th and the 17th of November.
EU chief negotiator Robert Cooper (photo) is the main character of a film that follows the negociations between Kosovo, delegation led by Edita Tahiri, and Serbia, delegation led by Borislav (Borko) Stefanovic. It all takes place in offices in Brussels, there is a long corridor with doors behind which the delegations operate, when they are not called to the table of Cooper. The negociations are performed in a good atmosphere with smaller verbal aggressions but rather friendly, when you consider the hate and violence that exist at the border of the two countries.
And that is my main concern about this film that seems to be more interested in characterising Cooper as a slightly excentric man, who goes to work on bike and dressed like a professional cyclist, reads W.H. Auden, has a huge library at his home, loads of ties in the closet to choose from when he changes for diplomatic clothes. For Tahiri we get to know about her American university background, and Stefanovic was playing guitar in a band during the Milosevic era. Interesting? Not really, more filling-up a narrative as there is not a lot of interesting drama at negociations like these. For the same the filmmakers have chosen to randomly squeeze in archive material from the NATO bombings, burning cars, conflicts and demonstrations. To give the viewer an impression of the realities down there or what? It does not work with that kind of tv-editing, it stays on the surface and is not deep enough to describe a serious conflict in today’s Europe. What it is? A film about some paperwork with symphatetic characters.
Denmark, 2013, 58 mins.