A new Powell doctrine

A preference for words over military force
In the film The Interpreter, Silvia Broome (Nicole Kidman) tells Secret Service agent Tobin Keller (Sean Penn) that she works as an interpreter at the United Nations because she prefers words to guns, even though she knows that words are “slower.” Later in the film we see a photograph of a younger Silvia brandishing a gun; she had once been a rebel fighter in Africa.

This intelligent thriller by director Sydney Pollack is the first film ever made inside of the United Nations building. It offers a rare glimpse inside the structure that houses the General Assembly. By coincidence, the movie has arrived in theaters while the U.S. Senate is considering the nomination of former State Department official John Bolton as U.S. representative to the United Nations.


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