Monday, October 22, 2007

Death of a President - What Would You Do?

"Death of a President" is the name of a movie that came out in 2006 and won the International Critics' Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. I had never heard of this film before last week but I have since watched it and recommend it. The DVD case I got at the video store summarizes the film: "Death of a President is a fictional 2008 TV documentary broadcast on the assassination of President George W. Bush on October 19, 2007."

Needless to say that didn't happen and this writing, of course, is in no way a threat to anyone. This isn't really going to be a movie review, but I will say the film is a suspenseful thriller, quite amazing in its production values. Bush, Cheney, Rice and other real life villains are represented with seemingly undoctored real world video clips. This makes the "mockumentary" easily believable.

When I first heard about this movie, just its premise, I became particularly interested in a scene I imagined would inevitably be a part of the film. See today's subject. What would you do?

I remember after 9/11 there was propaganda shown on American TVs depicting Arabs dancing and celebrating. It was later revealed that the footage was from some other time and in no way a response to 9/11. [NOTE: I was subsequently informed Snopes.com disputes this. Please draw your own conclusions.]

"Death of a President" is so realistic that this question loomed larger and larger as I awaited the violent scene. It took a few minutes past that point before word reaches protesters spread out across an enormous intersection and onto a major road with stand-still traffic. As one shouts to another and so on cheers and horn honks erupted. What would you do?

I've said many times that we have to protect ourselves from our government. Despite that I don't often write about my fears. I will say today that the question presented in this essay is one I've wondered for a long time but never felt safe enough to write about it. I suppose the bravery needed to make such a film has inspired me, at least to use the film as context for presenting my stifled question.

This question, now that I'm finally exploring it, is morbid and grotesque. That's no excuse to ignore it. Imagining the reaction is not the same as wanting the situation to exist. I do not want anyone to be assassinated.

It must also be a credit to this film that it could evoke a visceral response in me, one of sadness at that. The shooting scene and the initial news briefs do what all good movies do, which is manipulate the viewer's emotions. I wonder what this says about how I would react to such news were it real? What would you do?

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Posted by Dave Berman - 10:53 PM | Permalink
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It was unbelievably real.I too recommend seeing it.I do remember the pres. making a statement about it before it aired at the Toronto film festival,so theaters here were reluctant to show it.
If it happened,the film depicts exactly how the media would react.

Posted by Blogger mresquan @ Nov 19, 2007, 9:59:00 PM
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