You know who I usually turn to when I want to see deep behind the headlines and find out what is really going on in a massively complex and fast-movie geopolitical situation that seems to be dragging a superpower deeper and deeper into the mire? I’ll give you a clue. It certainly isn’t Hollywood. If, by any miracle, it was Hollywood, it certainly wouldn’t be the most activist of all the activists out there, Sean Penn.

Penn’s misguided political hot takes are a comical facet of being a Hollywood observer. Whenever you are feeling worried that you just might not get “It” then simply fire up your intergoogles and see what Penn’s position is on something. If you find yourself thinking completely the opposite, then as a general rule of thumb you are on the right side of history.




This won’t stop Penn though. He just keeps on going, like the little actor that could. The Oscar-winner has been to Ukraine more times than I have been to the Maldives, making me think he really hasn’t got the hang of this vacation thing. He has been seven times in the past two years for a project he is co-directing with Aaron Kaufman. Filming started months before the war began in late 2021. First of all Penn went to learn more about Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“We set out to tell a lighthearted tale of this comedic actor who had been elected president of Ukraine and instead became witness to a historic leader and his country’s war for freedom. When you step into a country of such incredible unity, you realize what we (in the United States) have all been missing.”

Simplistic hot-take, a chance to do down the USA while viewing all else through rose-tinted glasses, failure to question what is presented beyond the superficial. All present and correct. Oh Sean, don’t go changing! Susan Zirinsky, president of production company See It Now Studios, says:

“What makes this film extraordinary is the immersive nature of Penn’s journey. Being in the president’s bunker the night of the invasion to speak firsthand with Zelensky, whose country has been facing down the bloodiest invasion in Europe since World War II, Penn appreciated the extraordinarily historic weight of this moment and understood, from that moment on, the world had changed.”

The blurb lays this out as:

“Superpower presents Zelensky as a leader stepping up to embrace his country’s destiny. Overnight, he became the most significant wartime leader of the modern era. This onetime actor turned president is leading his country in conflict with a nuclear superpower, becoming a crucible of history. Amid moments of levity, inspiration and on-the-ground storytelling, the film shows that Ukraine’s superpower lies in the strength of its leader, its people, and ultimately its heart.”

Superpower was presented as a work in progress at the Berlin International Film Festival. The film was financed by Fifth Season and Vice News. That would be Vice News with the outstanding $834 million debt. Here is the trailer:

The finished article will premiere on Paramount+ on Monday, Sept. 18th.

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