Belgium / Austria, 2012, 85'
The Brussels Business
Friedrich Moser / Matthieu Lietaert
“I am a facilitator, really. Lobbying is perceived as a dirty word, but in fact it is just networking, contact between people”, says one lobbyist in The Brussels Business. Film-makers Friedrich Moser and Matthieu Lietaert describe their film as a ‘political docu-thriller', but there is hardly anything conventionally terrifying about this stylish film shot on EU’s corridors of power. Like any other documentary dealing with networks of power, it tackles a doubly difficult terrain: on the one hand, there is a problem of access - how to make people talk openly about what is meant to remain confined to a privileged circle? On the other hand, there is a problem of aesthetics: how to create cinema when all you have are men in suits sitting in offices surrounded by piles of documents, making phone calls, or going for social drinks? In spite of unfolding on ‘uncinematic’ terrain, this is a sleek, gripping story that examines the evolution of lobbying - largely by multinational corporations - inside and around the institutions of the EU, and makes a convincing argument for the need to create mechanisms able to ensure the transparency of EU decision-making. At a time of crisis, when supranational policy-making gathers terrain in a globalized world, here is an eye-opener meant to remind us all that democracy is a process, rather than an end-point.
Film screened under the aegis of the European Year of Citizens 2013.
15 March, 22:00, Cinemateca Eforie
17 March, 14:00, Cinema Corso
Best Cross-Media Pitch, Sunny Side of the Doc, France, 2010
Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, Czech Republic, 2012