Death of a President

Death of a President (More4)


Went to a screening a few days before its premiere on More4 of ‘Death of a President’, the new FilmFour/More4 production which has caused so much fuss in the good ol’ US of A. Peter Dale, head of More 4, attended along with the commissioner, Liza Marshall.

It’s an original and imaginative way to explore current affairs and the political landscape in the US and beyond. Set just into the future, President Bush gets assasinated on 17th October 2006, it charts the build up a la JFK with a pretty sympathetic portrait of George W highlighting his affability and charm. Then in the wake of a grassy knoll-type shooting outside a hotel in Chicago, it shows the US domestic fall-out of the assasination, drama-doc style with excellent performances by US theatrical actors as forensic scientists, suspects, presidential aids, etc.

It has the genuine emotion in it essential to engaging drama – you don’t feel good watching Bush’s wife going in to the hospital or seeing him on the operating table, and you believe the welling eyes of his speech-writer. Less believable is the botched FBI investigation where a prime suspect is overlooked in the hysterical pressure of having to tie-up the case quickly. The interweaving of news footage, security footage, familiar TV documentary forms and recreations of all of the above is masterful, from the team who brought The Day Britain Stopped to BBC TV.

The film highlights the dangers of the Patriot Act route and the seething resentment growing around Iraq. What’s best about it is that it represents a bold new way of exploring politics, history and current affairs using imagination, speculation and entertainment. I said to Peter at the end that we should be proud that the questions have been asked from this side of the water by a daring, creative Public Service broadcaster. It would never come out of the good ol’ US of A.

4 comments so far

  1. julenka on

    I’ve heard so much about this, and every time I read a post like this, or a review, it just makes me want to see it even more!

    Thanks again for the reminder. 🙂

  2. aarkangel on

    It’s getting a theatrical (cinema) release in many countries so you may have a chance to see it on the big screen

  3. aarkangel on

    Julenka, further to last comment, the film is being distributed by Newmarket in the US, and is about to open in the next few days on at least 300 screens. Gabriel Range, the director, is over in the good ol’ US of A now doing publicity.

  4. bob on

    totally agree

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