In the Loop

Institute History

  • 2009 Sundance Film Festival


If Armando Iannucci’s political farce about the road to war through the corridors of power weren’t so funny, it would be utterly terrifying.

When a British cabinet minister, Simon Foster, comments publicly that he thinks war is “unforeseeable,” the result is an immediate bollocking from Malcolm Tucker, the prime minister’s testy bulldog pushing for war. Unable to clarify his position, Simon is sent to Washington, where, trying desperately to be important, he meets Karen Clark, a U.S. State Department official, and General Miller, who see him as a transatlantic partner in building a consensus against war. They search for a secret war committee, led by Karen’s hawkish colleague, Linton Barwick. And as farce demands, all parties eventually converge for a climactic shuffle between rooms, in this case at the United Nations.

Wickedly sardonic and filled with secrets, lies, leaks, plugs, faulty intelligence, and faulty walls, In the Loop leads us behind closed doors to reveal bungling bureaucrats entangled in petty rivalries, obsequious aides jockeying for favor, and the Keystone Cops of government, including a minister who hopes there’s no war because it’s bad enough coping with the Olympics, and an unscrupulous bureaucrat who doctors intelligence because he believes that “in the land of truth, the man with one fact is king.”

But don’t worry. None of this actually happened! It’s just British comedy.

— John Nein

Screening Details

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