Tuesday, September 12, 2006

"Death of A President"

Hollywood Reporter Review:

"...But "Death of a President" uses the morally dubious tactic of mixing real news footage with staged events to create an imagined assassination of President Bush.

As convincing as the manipulated footage of the president's death in Chicago in October 2007 is, the movie cannot be more unconvincing in its approach. Does it not occur to filmmaker Gabriel Range, as he takes his bows for his clever stunt, that the very forces he warns against will use his film as propaganda? Their line will be: If the enemies of President Bush can be so crass as to imagine his cinematic murder, then what value can one give to their arguments against our great leader's domestic and foreign policies? Range has just made Karl Rove's day."

Get this part:

Festival organizers have been gleefully crowing about this film since its inclusion in the Toronto lineup was announced at the last minute. But as unpleasant as this swaggering over a failed political movie has been, it's nothing compared to the unpleasantness of watching this skilled British docu-dramatist massage real footage and sound bites to envision the murder of a person who, whether you like him or not, is still very much alive.


"The movie means to show how a Dick Cheney administration, in its zeal to link the killing to terrorism, scapegoats a Syrian-born man, against whom there is the flimsiest of evidence, while ignoring an American vet sickened by the needless carnage in Iraq. The film, made to look like a TV documentary filmed many months after the fact, strongly implies that the government got the wrong man. But putting the Syrian on trail allows Cheney to push through Congress a Patriot Act III, which further enhances the American police state and broadens the powers of the executive branch.

Among the clever though ethically challenged manipulations is a real presidential visit to the Windy City, with the city's leadership occupying the dais with Bush; talking-head interviews with grieving staffers and presidential guardians; and a state funeral, presumably President Reagan's, doctored so Cheney can orate over his late predecessor's coffin.

There certainly is much to admire in the skillful blend of real and fake. One's admiration ends there."

I find it so strange that someone would be compelled to make a film that gives life to a deranged fantasy of what a Cheney Presidency would look like. Now they can hate him for what they imagine he would do.

Things just get weirder and weirder.