Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Tuesday 10 October 2006

'Death of a President' - a review (part 1)

I'm just watching a recording of Death of a President, broadcast on More4 last evening in its premiere in the UK. This is a fictional 'future history' with the plot involving the assasinantion of the US President whilst on a visit to Chicago. However, the plot isn't a notional fiction - it uses as its principal 'dramatis personae' the killing of the current President, George W Bush. Whatever one might think of him, one does wonder at the propriety of making such a film. Would I be amused if a film plot involved the murder of our Head of State, Queen Elizabeth II, or indeed Tony Blair, our Prime Minister? (definitely the latter is not one of my favourite human beings)

In one word, no.

Now having drawn attention to the 'tastelessness' of the plot, or even of its 'lese majeste', is the premise of the film plausible or remotely justifiable? The premise is certainly valid - after all, a number of earlier Presidents have indeed been assasinated whilst in office. Justifiable? There I am less certain.

At the time of writing (1.45am!) I have just watched the initial suspect questionning following the confirmation that the President is dead and the various theories and conjectures being postulated. The whole film is designed in the style of a documentary 'after-the-fact' and waht I am watching now is speculation about Syrian involvement.

A few comments before I go to bed. I saw earlier today (i. e. on Monday afternoon) an interview with Syrian dictator, President Bashir Assad, a former opthalmologist and presidential heir to his father, the former dictator. The real and fictional worlds are bizarrely aligned. Just as the news from North Korea yesterday echoed some of the earlier segments of this film.

I will post the second part of this review in the morning, after having had a few hours sleep. After attending a lecture last evening and consuming a few glasses of Crozes-Hermitage and a couple of small post-supper glasses of Marsala, I do now need to go to bed. I will view the rest of the film in the morning with fresh eyes and write again after that.

Read the concluding part of my review here.

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