City of Roses
|Has anyone else begun hearing about this new British film that has recently begun to generate intense controversy (and most understandably so) titled "Death Of A President", supposedly a "fictional documentary about the assassination of U.S. President George W. Bush"?
Little is known publicly about the film's director, Gabriel Range, but here's a list of other films he has written and directed:
The Great Dome Robbery (2002)
Drama that tells the true story of a gang of robbers who planned to steal the world's largest diamond from the Millennium Dome where it is on show, unaware that they have been under police surveillance ever since they started planning the robbery.
The Day Britain Stopped (2003) (TV)
Dramatised documentary which analyses the catastrophe and national tragedy that could happen to Britain if its already over-burdened transport systems reached breaking point. Set in the future on 19 December 2003 and presented as if it were a retrospective documentary made subsequently, complete with mock archive footage and hindsight interviews.
The Man Who Broke Britain (2004) (TV)
A devastating terrorist strike wipes out much of Saudi Arabia's oil production; the same day a trader of Saudi origin disappears from UK investment bank Sun First Credit (SFCB). Managers soon discover the missing trader, Samir Badr, has built up crippling debts, multiplied a hundred fold by the attacks in Saudi. SFCB, once the toast of the city, is suddenly heading for bankruptcy, taking a whole raft of other banks down with it. The resulting market crash and banking crisis will push Britain and the US into a 21st Century recession: pension funds are slashed, unemployment soars and the housing market collapses. Following the discovery that Badr has committed suicide, a new Al-Qa'eda tape surfaces, in which Bin Laden appears to claim responsibility for the financial turmoil. Suspicion grows that Badr was an Islamic extremist who deliberately sabotaged the bank. As the authorities and the media launch a massive investigation into the apparent Al-Qaeda assault on the pillars of the Western Economy, an alternative explanation emerges. Could greed and incompetence be the real cause of the collapse of Britain's economy?
Now, Range is beginning to promote "Death Of A President" across the Atlantic, already generating controversy and even death threats toward the filmmakers. Wikipedia provides this synopsis:
In October 2007, President of the United States George W. Bush is assassinated by a hidden shooter on his way out of a Chicago hotel, in front of which an anti-war rally is being held. A man of Syrian origins, Jamal Abu Zikri, becomes the number one suspect. Three years later, a documentary filmmaker presents a movie about what the United States has become since the assassination.
The Syrian Jamal Abu Zikri possibly sympathetic to Jihad was initially suspected as the assassin. Dick Cheney, after being elevated to the position of President, uses the possible al-Qaeda connection of the suspect to push his own agenda. He calls for a Patriot Act 3, suspends most civil liberties and for military action against Syria. An already grotesque world situation keeps growing more grotesque.
Eventually, the movie revealed that the perpetrator is a black American, a father of a soldier who had died on duty in Iraq. The assassin blames Bush for the death of his son. He shoots the President, then himself. The killer's suicide note reads: "There's no honor in standing for an immoral country. George Bush killed our David and I can't forgive him." So it turns out that the assassination was entirely personal."
Despite great controversy, Range has staunchly defending the film, including saying the following:
"I think it's very important that Bush is a sitting president. If it was a fictional president, the reaction would be completely different, like watching 24, and would have undermined the entire idea. I wanted it to feel like it's about the world we live in now."
I suppose the general question I have here is, is this really a fake documentary that's designed and intended to stimulate public discussion, or is this merely some sort of political pornography amalgamated in the form of a whodunnit, insinuating a personal or physical threat beyond the film itself under the surface?
I haven't seen the film myself like I hadn't the propaganda that was "The Path To 9/11 (nor do I intend to see either film ever) but my aesthetic reaction in first hearing about this film is that I believe it's insane what that film's director Gabriel Range is arguing; that he had to show Bush get assassinated or his whole message would be diluted. I think that's disturbing, and regardless of my strong disapproval of Bush and I believe his lack of leadership and competence, I believe assassination is wrong and believe it is immoral for anyone to even think of advocating the physical harm of another like that, and if we have allowed ourselves to stoop to a new low where a razor-thin, yet vocal, left-wing minority thinks about and cheerleads the assassination of George W. Bush (like some indymedia bloggers), and a razor-thin, yet vocal, right-wing minority thinks about and cheerleads the assassination of Lincoln Chafee (like Ann Coulter), I wholeheartedly fear for the future of both our nation and the world.
I hope that film (and I predict it will) receive few viewers when it begins skipping into the domestic market. There are all kinds of ways to raise healthy discussion about the issues; spectacle such as this only brings out the worst in us and generates bad blood in my opinion.
"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"