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Death of a President

Published October 11, 2006 in Movie Previews
By Ryan Parsons | Image property of Newmarket Films.
When you read the synopsis for Newmarket's Death of a President you may find yourself stopping, reading again, and then asking yourself "what the..." Seriously, this film is going to disturb a lot of people; or should I say a lot of Americans. It will, however, most likely become one of Osama Bin Laden's most watched DVDs.

Death of a President Poster, Trailer and Synopsis

Winner of the International Critics' Prize at the Toronto Film Festival, Death of a President is conceived as a fictional TV documentary broadcast in 2008, reflecting on another monstrously despicable and cataclysmic event: the assassination of President George W. Bush on October 19th, 2007. The "documentary" combines archival footage and carefully composed interviews, presented in a respectful and dignified manner. Exciting and questioning, it refashions the event into a riveting story.

The film opens with the ferocious energy of a Tarantino or Oliver Stone movie, as frenetically edited archival footage thrusts us into a raging crowd of protesters, waiting for President Bush's procession. The President is portrayed as a sympathetic and likable man beloved by those close to him and charming to his followers. As the President gives a patriotic speech inside a hotel, the demonstrators' fury increases to the breaking point. The tension mounts until the horrible instant where the President is assassinated.

After the assassination, the film shifts into the style of a mystery, and follows the FBI's hunt for the assassin. All the suspects are interviewed except one Syrian man who is convicted and put on death row. There is much circumstantial evidence against him. But is he guilty of the crime? Or does his being Middle Eastern provide a convenient excuse to label the death of the President as an Act of Terror?

Death of a President Poster Death of a President Poster

Director Gabriel Range previously used the device of a "retrospective documentary" in his celebrated 2003 film The Day Britain Stopped, about a chain of events that led to a breakdown of the country's transport system and nearly a hundred fatalities. Both of these films have been acclaimed for the technical virtuosity with which they combine archival footage and filmed scenes to create disturbingly real visions of catastrophes.

Death of a President was honored by The International Critics Prize Jury (FIPRESCI) at Toronto for "the audacity with which it distorts reality, to reveal a larger truth."

I have been proud of the fact that CanMag has yet to receive any hate mail for the month of October. If, for any reason, the idea of this film disturbs you, then don't go see it. We did not create the film or have any hand in it, so please save the hate mail this time around. I openly agree that the subject matter behind the film is shocking and, it would seem, an open knock against our current president. Seriously, they couldn't have made a fictitious name?

The film does try to play it safe with this line from the synopsis: "The President is portrayed as a sympathetic and likable man beloved by those close to him and charming to his followers."

Check out the trailer for Death of a President, humorously given the acronym of DOAP, by clicking HERE.

Death of a President opens to theatres on October 27th.

For more movie info, go to the Death of a President Movie Page.

Stay tuned for updates.

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Compiled By (Sources)
Ryan Parsons
Sources: Image property of Newmarket Films.

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