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Sarko — The Movie. Bittersweet French election.

A politician’s rise to the highest office coincides with the end of his marriage — it is a story that just begs to be told.  The film, “Conquest” chronicles the machinations that delivered Nicholas Sarkozy juggernaut the French presidency, but the film’s lack of ambition makes it a reenactment.  To my eye, it doesn’t attempt to reinterpret Sarkozy or add much to our understanding of him (or his {now ex} wife, Cecilia, for that matter).  The events grabbing the biggest headlines in French current events pass by almost in the periphery, as Sarko remains singlemindedly focused on maneuvering his way to the Presidency.  The fleeting depiction of French riot crisis (and Sarkozy exacerbating the crisis by calling the rioters “scum”) paints Sarko as being in a bubble that never intersects with the lives of ordinary French citizens.

Five years later, we are in the midst of another French Presidential election.  The two candidates are Sarkozy, whose sobriquet is “President bling-bling”, vs Francois Hollande whose moniker is “Mr. Normal”.  Although I wasn’t a fan of “Conquest”, I think a sequel of the still undecided 2012 campaign might be incredibly interesting.

Since the 2007 election, the French President has become a crucial figure on the world stage along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, (branded together as Merkozy) as they have worked together to stave off disaster during the still unresolved European Financial Crisis.  Now Sarkozy’s best chance of re-election is to contort his substantial International and European accomplishments to win over the Euro-skeptic extreme right-wing Front Nationale voters.

From a human perspective, I think a sequel could also be very rich. Sarkozy has been controversial (as a public figure) is  for his ostentatious ambition and style; not to mention his unabashedly pro-capitalist policies.  Cecila who helped engineer his career has been replaced with Carla Bruni. It is impossible for Bruni, the world famous pop singer and ex-model, to be in the background, but politically speaking she seems that is exactly her place.

Picasso would develop a new style as he would take on a new muse/mistress, a sequel to conquest would flesh out how Bruni’s larger-than-life personality has influenced the President.



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