Patrick Malahide in Ten Days to War

"Before we go into informals, we have to make one last push with the undecideds"

Patrick Malahide as Sir Jeremy Greenstock.

In 2008, Patrick Malahide appeared in episode 4, “Why This Rush?” of the BBC’s Ten Days to War, an eight part series of dramatic shorts commissioned by Newsnight and broadcast on BBC Two to mark the fifth anniversary of the start of the Iraq War. It is available for viewing via the BBC. You can watch the short here.

At just under 14 minutes, it is indeed very short as well as excellent. There is a lot of detail and intrigue packed into this episode.

Patrick Malahide plays Sir Jeremy Greenstock, who is seeking a United Nations resolution authorizing war on Iraq over Saddam Hussein’s alleged weapons of mass destruction. The Mexican UN Security Council ambassador Adolfo Aguilar Zínser (Tom Conti) cannot support the resolution unless all possible avenues have been exhausted and the existence of such weapons has been properly established. Greenstock becomes concerned that someone, possibly one of the six undecided ambassadors which includes Zínser, might put up a counter resolution against war.

"You surely aren't prepared to let him use them again."

The use of close-up is very effective.

There is a load of tension built into this episode as Greenstock works to secure the resolution and Zínser seeks more time and answers. Greenstock is getting intense political pressure from Prime Minister Tony Blair’s people, while arguing for a resolution that has no consensus. The camera’s use of extreme close-up is incredibly effective, adding to the film’s intensity.

Adolfo: "Jeremy, you have four votes out of fifteen, and you are lecturing us on the importance of unanimity."

Staring intently over his specs.

Mr. Malahide’s performance is captivating.  He is definitely a man under pressure, and he uses his expressive eyes to their full effect as he stares owlishly over his glasses while arguing for the resolution.

Again, “Why This Rush?”  is available on-line.

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