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Death of a President 2006
Description: A fictional investigative documentary looks back on the "assassination" of George W. Bush and attempts to respond the question of who committed the murder. Perhaps less morbid and disturbing to watch actually than during Bush's presidency, the movie doesn't address Bush's disclaimers at all, instead focusing on the method a nation assigns blame in a time of crisis.
Released: 21 Dec 2006 Director: Gabriel Range Writers: Gabriel Range, Simon Finch Actors: Hend Ayoub, Becky Ann Baker, Brian Boland, Michael Reilly Burke Genres: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
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Death of a President Reviews:

A lot of these reviews seem to be by either US Americans who have yet to see this film, and are so insecure about their patriotism they have to come on to IMDb and slate it, or seemingly by folks who made up their mind before watching it and refuse to change their stance after doing so.The mission of the movie is NOT some perverse fantasy about killing the actual President of the United States of America, George Walker Bush Jr. Folks who tell otherwise either haven't seen it or are wanting to purposely misguide you.It is a drama in the style of a documentary (one that would air on tv rather then a cinema screen) that looks at a possible run up to an assassination of the president, as well as how the investigation might be handled afterwards with the involvement of Dick Cheney (who would take over the Presidency if George Bush was assassinated).The drama does not dwell or linger on the death of the president at all, in fact apart from Bush being crammed into his presidential vehicle by secret service and whizzed away at high speed, that is all the viewer sees. You then search out about his death from mock news reports. Hardly a sordid gratification from a 'perverse' director.The drama is convincing as a documentary by realistic interviews with decent unknown actors testing their roles just right without hyperbole as should quite easy be the case.Without spoiling exact plot points, the drama makes a mission in how the government may be more interested in finding a suspect and making the evidence fit the profile because it is more politically advantageous then now running an investigation to search out exactly what happened, and draw suspects that way. Considering the actual climate where seemingly the Geneva Convention is launch to interpretation, and restrictions on Habeus Corpus, this recommendation is not far fetched in the slightest.It aired on 'More 4' in the UK, a channel from Channel 4 television, and I'd imagine it would air on an American network at some point, or maybe a limited screening at cinemas if the US networks lose their bottle.So for my US brothers and sisters, consider what I've written, and go SEE it and decide for yourself. That's what the freedom as a US Citizen entitles you to do.


First off, ignore all the hype and crap that been spouted about how this movie is making cash out of the concept of seeing George W. Bush assassinated. Don't watch this if you wish a political movie pointing out how much Bush did/did not deserve it. Reading some of the forums and responses from uptight Americans bitching about folks daring to comment of American politics in a questioning method just saddens me. What we have here is a well made and thought provoking piece of what might happen, in today's society and with public feeling the method it is, if President Bush was assassinated.In fact, what director Gabriel Range manages to pull off very well, in my opinion, is now managing to present as tiny of the current "event" as possible. We receive the build up, see the footage of the shooting in true time, with no irritating slow-motion or multiple angles, and just transport instantly onto the aftermath.Range questions what political reactions there would be, how the media would react, how the investigation would move, and every time he shows a scenario that is both shocking and depressingly believable. He shows the chance of Cheney trying to manoeuvre happenings to let him to transport on Syria, only to be forced to back due to lack of any true evidence. He highlights the question of whether the FBI looking for Middle Eastern suspects before white suspects is racism or common sense? How the media instantly jumps on any piece of notification and begins presenting it as fact. How any response would be tempered by anger at what had happened, and rightly so. Shows an Administration desperate to stick the killer in the realm of Terrorism to back up their own policies.But the backbone of the movie is not to mission out any one person or aspect that would result all of this, but how the actual atmosphere and the mission that the globe has brought itself would result responses to such events. As later as Bush is declared dead, it seems to have been far more necessary to have done something and found someone to blame, and more particularly to blame Terrorism, than to take time and care to create sure everything is certain. Zahra Abu Zikri is convicted due to the fact that folks wanted him to be guilty more than the flimsy evidence place vs him. As his lawyer says; "The moment they (the media) told 'Al Qaeda Assassin' he was guilty" and forensic experts were forced to work backwards. "We tell he's guilty, search evidence to back us up on this." We're shown a US becoming obsessed that the assassin had to be backed by terrorism, fully refusing to trust that an American would wish to slay their own President.Yes, you do everytime have to be attentive about portraying the death of any living person, but this movie would not have had the same result if Range had used a fictional President, just as much as if he'd create up a fictional country to replace America. The Bush Administration is a vital part in this entire story. I understand why folks might receive upset, but they shouldn't test that as a reason to scream down political discussion.Ultimately this movie is what I really want it had been seen as from the beginning, an perfect discussion on a "what-if" scenario, and I happen to trust this style of movie is a vital part in discussing global politics. (See Peter Watkins The Fight Minigame for the greatest example of this sub-genre) Unfortunately, like Range's past works this movie has been hijacked by calls of 'scare mongering'. Could we ignore issues if they we are afraid by the outcome? Or just if they create us see a truth we don't wish to admit? What you could notice by the end is however much you accept or disagree with the concept or the topics matter, the case at the end of the movie is unnervingly believable. That truth and reason are not the two most necessary things we look for anymore.


"Death of a President" is a truly original and intriguing 'future documentary' about an happening that hasn't happened yet. It is a reflection on the happenings surrounding the October 2007 assassination of George W. Bush in a Chicago hotel.That future time is portrayed with an escalation of the anti-war fervor and a growing concern over the dangers posed by North Korea.The movie flips between staged scenes, true footage & documentary style interviews. It does a fine job of seamlessly blending those pieces to make a very plausible "precreation".It is interesting watching this movie on October 9th, 2006... a day which began with news of North Korea's first nuclear test. The first twenty mins of the movie are dotted with mentions of that scenario.There are some chilling scenes in this film... especially early on, when you receive a true sense of the protesters being contained and beaten down by Chicago police in full riot gear.After a political speech in the hotel, the President is ushered down a standard meet-and-greet rope-line. It is at this mission that the movie lives up to its name. Shots are fired and one of the most frenzied scenes of any movie this year ensues. Bush is thrown into a waiting limo, which speeds off to the nearest hospital. The crowd at the rope line is panicked beyond recognition. The FBI launches into gear. The media machine revs its engines. And the Chicago skyline lights the night air as an eerie sense of history-in-the-making takes hold.Later that night, newscasters announce the death of George W. Bush and the movie transposes into an FBI procedural... A virtual whodunit for us viewers. It feels very much like a David Mamet plot crossed with an Oliver Stone concept. It truly is a wonderfully imaginative concept played out with nice skill and cinematic artistry.***OK - The secondary question in reviewing this movie is this... Is it wrong? Is it morally questionable to have such a premise be the focal mission of a film? Is it in terrible taste?Well, I have everytime been one to follow Roger Ebert's mandate that, "It is not everytime what a movie is about, but how it is about it." I test not to pass judgment on the subject, but on the skill of the movie itself.However, this is a very brazen subject. Even for a Bush-hating liberal like me, this approaches the line, if indeed it doesn't cross it. It comes dangerously close to going too far.That being said, I think it stops short of that line and delivers a legitimate scenario that merits people's attention. I trust this movie earns the right to touch on this subject. It is a quality movie and could not be thought of as a sensationalistic attempt to shock audiences.***Back to the plot... The movie analyzes the hunt for suspects and forensic evidence. It follows the investigation all the method to a murder trial. I will not feature the storyline any further.What this movie does brilliantly is to shade the discussion toward problems like the Patriot Act, Homeland Safety futility, the right to privacy, the right to a fair trial, and the apathy of the American public to seek truth and justice. It tips at Governmental manipulation, a wag the dog mentality. It says private stories of civilians and troops and suspects and Presidential aides. This movie has a tremendously broad scope considering the budget."Death of a President" meanders patiently toward a conclusion you will probably not expect. This is a very thoughtful movie that wants us to think carefully about the consequences of future terrorism. It asks us to contemplate the futility of such a crime and the repercussions it would have on future generations. In fact, it very much condemns this scenario as the worst thing that should happen.I was riveted by this film. It is not just a shout for attention with a daring title. It has something very necessary to tell and it tells it very eloquently. That it dramatizes the assassination of a sitting President only adds to the palpable tension and urgency of its message. I think that "Death of a President" is one of the greatest and most necessary movies of 2006. Go out of your method to see it as later as you can!© Written by TC Candler IndependentCritics.com



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