Starring: Emmanuel Macron, Brigitte Macron, Sibeth Ndiaye
Director: Yann L’Henoret
Running Time: 91 mins
Emmanuel Macron: Behind The Rise (Emmanuel Macron: Les coulisses d’une victoire) is a French documentary about the presidential campaign of Emmanuel Macron, who launched an unexpected surge to power to become the youngest President in French history.
Emmanuel Macron’s rise to power in the 2017 election is an incredibly impressive story, but I’m afraid to say that this fly-on-the-wall documentary just doesn’t do it justice. Apart from certainly being released far too soon after Macron’s election victory, the film feels a lot more like a vanity project or propaganda piece for the President to win favour, rather than a genuinely engrossing story of the trials and hardships that come with campaigning, and particularly in France in 2017.
Now, modern politics is always a fascinating topic for documentaries, and going behind the scenes of the political facade is what really makes for an interesting watch, as you learn not only about how the campaigns that dominate the news cycles for months on end work, but also the way in which the team handles the numerous troubles and obstacles over the course of an election, giving you a more honest and engrossing look into the world of politicians.
On that, there are times when Behind The Rise is a great look into the world of political campaigning, with an in-depth and intriguing portrayal of the various personalities around Macron, the face of the campaign, and how they deal with everything that’s thrown at them over the course of 6 months, with an honest and straightforward presentation of the way that people on the campaign trial work with the media to make their candidate look as good as possible, as well as push back against all the criticisms and troubles that naturally come with campaigning.
That’s where the movie proves an interesting watch, and without the satirical spin that many films put on political campaigning, it’s a more measured and calm film.
However, the biggest problem with Behind The Rise is that it still all feels far more like a vanity project than anything else. Rather than detailing the real trials and difficulties that the campaign faced, everything about the Macron campaign here seems too swift, and far too easy to be genuinely interesting.
Couple that with any number of sequences in which Macron details his policies and ideology in ‘behind-the-scenes’ meetings that are just a little too perfect to seem at all real, and you have a film that’s clearly not there for the purpose of political intrigue for the viewer, but something that’s used as a piece of political propaganda instead.
Shown on French television in the months following Macron’s election, the film is a little too praiseworthy and positive about its main subject, and rather than providing an objective detailing of his campaign and rise to power, it feels too much like a film that’s there to win favour with the French public ahead of Macron presidency.
If the film were released at the end of Macron’s term, whether that be in 2022 or whenever, I feel it would have more relevance and intrigue than coming at the beginning of the term, and that’s where the film really proved a frustrating watch for me, which is why I’m giving Emmanuel Macron: Behind The Rise a 6.6 overall.