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[Nettime-ro] Winner of the International Critics
vladimir bulat on Wed, 1 Nov 2006 09:53:03 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-ro] Winner of the International Critics


>DEATH OF A PRESIDENT follows the investigation of the fictional
assassination of President George W. Bush in October 2007. Combining real
archival footage with a credible but fictional story, "Death of a
President" presents a fascinating and thought-provoking political thriller.

>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
>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?the 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?
>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."

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