Foreign Affairs

Luxembourg's Foreign Minister takes us on a journey through modern politics

Foreign Affairs An intimate behind-the-scenes portrait of Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn as he struggles to make the voice of a small country heard in a world marked by major political crises that threaten global peace and prosperity. A sober look at the complex business of international relations. Through remarkable access this crafted doc also offers moments of comic relief in its wry observations on diplomacy and the everyday life of a politician.

"Of course, this won't be easy." Relaxing at home in his shorts and loafers, Jean picks up the phone to Austrian President Heinz Fischer to discuss the problem of ISIS in the Middle East. In this casual setting, one could be forgiven for underestimating the gravity of the discussion at hand, which becomes clear as Jean starts relating his impressions from a recent diplomatic mission: "I believe this to be the greatest challenge for the Arab world."

In this demanding position one is never off duty, and informal chats soon become politically charged. Indeed, the rapport on a personal and a political level can be hard to untangle. In discussion with EU president Jean Claude Juncker, the conversation moves from the Tour de France to, "so what do you think about Greece?" within the space of a sentence.

As we follow him from Iran, to Russia, to Brussels, to India, the life and work of a Foreign Minister is revealed to be as difficult as it is fascinating. With meticulous cinematography, this crafted documentary lays open the often oblique world of international relations.

The Producers

Pasha Rafiy is a director and photographer. He was born in 1980 in Tehran, Iran and moved to Luxembourg in 1985. In 2008, he graduated from the University of Vienna. His works are part of the museum's collection Musée d'Art Moderne in Luxembourg. Living in Vienna, Pasha Rafiy also works as a Creative Director for the Austrian Newspaper „Die Presse“ and has won several international awards for Print Ideas. Foreign Affairs is his first feature-length documentary.

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