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Death of a President (DVD)

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The production values are absolutely amazing, and I truly believe the filmmakers are darn talented; it’s just a pity the elements had to come together for such a morbidly unnecessary venture.


George W.Bush, Hend Ayoub, Becky Ann Baker, Jay Patterson, Robert Mangiardi, Michael Reilly Burke

Some have called it tasteless – others tacky, disgusting, despicable and unnecessary. I don’t know what to call it… I’m too busy scratching my head.

The British-directed “Death of a President” is an excellently filmed and totally engrossing documentary on the assassination of president George W. Bush. Yep. You got it. George W.Bush. Nup, you didn’t sleep through that moment in history – the guy is still alive. But for some reason – the filmmakers have explained themselves plenty of times but there’s really no good reason to do a film like this – he’s dead, for the sake of this film. And therein lies the main – maybe the only – problem with this captivating film : it’s complete bullshit. No matter how real it plays… all of it’s fake. Aren’t historic documentaries supposed to educate us on real-life moments in history? What’s the point, otherwise?

Through the use of metres and metres of archival footage, as well as some grand-scale staged sequences, “President” unravels the highly credible – as in, it plays frighteningly real – mystery behind the murder of one of our times most despised politicians.

We watch as President Bush’s trailblazer rides into Chicago, dodging the thousands of protestors, before letting the man out to take the stage inside the Sheraton Hotel. On his way out, walking back towards his ride, Bush is hit twice in the chest by a sniper. Several hours later he’s announced deceased.

The film then hears eyewitness accounts from those that knew the man – his security detail and so on – and those that worked on the case of finding the killer – like the head of the FEDS, the Forensics guys, and other fictionalised factual characters.

When it’s revealed that the government has arrested a Muslim for Bush’s murder – rather hastily, and with little evidence to back up their claim – one starts to understand why the filmmakers might have decided to make the film. Seems they’re making a point. They’re showing us just what different times we live in – and have lived in since 9/11. They’re reminding us of the global unrest that’s in play. They’re determined to make it clear that not all Muslims are terrorists. And they have a point – with all those things.

Thing is, I still find it very strange – I’m sure I’m not alone – that someone would even consider doing such a film. It just seems… wrong. As much as you may dislike the current President, killing him on film almost passes it off as a suggestion to someone. We don’t really need the film to be out there – you just don’t know what screw-loose son-of-a-bitch is going to see it and see it its guts as a solution to ‘his’ problem.

The production values are absolutely amazing, and I truly believe the filmmakers are darn talented; it’s just a pity the elements had to come together for such a morbidly unnecessary venture.

Commentary and some candid interviews are among the extras.

Rating :
Reviewer : Clint Morris

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