Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Crap, Did Blake Get Shot Too?

Oh, what a lucky day for an American politico/TV junkie to be in England!

Last night, I caught the premiere of the controversial Death of a President - a docudrama, er, mockudrama, in which George W. Bush is assassinated in October of 2007. The mock-up looks back from an unknown near-future point and describes the immediate reaction to the incident.

If you get a chance to see the film - I don't know if there are plans to air it here - you should watch over the President's shoulder in the seconds before he gets it. Look! There's CMC non-grad and soon to be Harvard MBA student Blake Gottesman! He has a blue tie on and another victim felled by an assassin's bullet also wore a blue tie. I don't think it was actually him, but still. It's weird either way.

The film cuts archival footage of presidential speeches and appearances and mixes it with somber, mood-lit interviews with FBI and Secret Service agents, the wife of a possible assassin, and a family torn apart by the both Iraq wars.

The film avoids commenting on the international reaction to such an event and only vaguely alludes to what else has gone on in the world between now and October 2007. For American students of political science, popular culture, or current events, it will seem very much like the foreign film that it is. It winks at PATRIOT act content and extentions, anti-Muslim bias and resulting witch-hunting, uses Cheney/Syria as a thinly veiled analog for Bush/Iraq - and does it all with about 70% efficacy in getting its wink-wink-nudge-nudge message across. I'm still not sure what the take-away is other than Chicago breeds violent political demonstrations (1968, anyone?).

My English hosts were a bit shocked at the film and a nearly apologetic about it. I was fascinated at the chance to watch such a thing in a foreign country - so the academic aspect exceeded any patriotic indignation I might have felt. I certainly, duh, wouldn't cheer such a real event. In the wry-sense, it would prevent me from seeing him impeached (won't happen anyway). In the real sense - killing is bad. I'm against the war - more bloodshed doesn't help the cause. And, of course, making him a martyr leads to very bad things indeed. The film didn't get close to any of that either.

I'm back in the States now, eating mac'n'cheese out of fiestaware and feeling very American. But, as with each of these trips, more a part of the world than before.

1 comment:

john said...

Saw the very same.

I don't really know what they where trying to acheive. A really slow and boring film about a President being shot? If it was not for the fact that they made it about a living President then it would have never been noticed.


Hope you had a nice trip home in the end.