Angela Merkel is due to leave politics this autumn, after sixteen years in power and at the height of her popularity. She has become a global icon and yet remains an enigma. Her absolute professionalism, her determination to protect her private life and to reduce her press statements to a minimum have made her elusive. Who really knows Angela Merkel? What kind of woman is she? And what legacy does she leave us? In this exclusive film, we go in search of the real Angela Merkel.
Director Marion Van Renterghem has been following Merkel for the last decade. She has written two books and numerous articles about her and is uniquely placed to tell Merkel’s story. Rather than interview experts and journalists, she speaks only to people who directly know Angela Merkel – including the last three French presidents. At the heart of this story is an enigma: how could an uncharismatic, provincial physicist, from a country that no longer exist, rise to become the world’s most powerful women and maintain that position for so long? How could she become both the Iron Chancellor and Mutti to the German people?
In telling Angela Merkel’s extraordinary story, we tell the story of Europe: from the fall of communism to the euro, migrant and COVID crises. In the face of the world’s turmoil, Angela Merkel is the only figure that truly embodies longevity of power, political stability, and the values of liberal democracy. She leaves us facing a vacuum and immense uncertainty.