Channel 4 is set to spark a furore in the US this month when it unveils a documentary-style film in which George Bush is assassinated.
Set in October 2007, the 90-minute drama uses a mix of archive footage, computer generated imagery and documentary techniques to portray Bush’s assassination and America’s reaction to it. Death of a President, which will also headline the Toronto film festival, will be seen first in this country on sister channel More 4 before being repeated on the main channel.
The film recreates the arrival of Mr Bush in Chicago to make a speech to business leaders. Confronted by a huge anti-war demonstration, he goes ahead with the visit but is gunned down by a sniper on leaving the venue.
Actors playing eyewitnesses and mock news footage are used to tell the story of the hunt for the killer. The film is likely to prove controversial, particularly among rightwing media pundits and with conservative advertisers.
A White House spokeswoman said yesterday: “We are not going to comment, because it does not dignify a response.”
More4’s chief, Peter Dale, said the headline-grabbing conceit was used as the hook for an intelligent examination of American politics. “It’s a mixture of a gripping detective story and a political examination of what the war on terror is doing to the American body politic,” he said.
Gabriel Range, director of the film, said: “Inevitably there will be people offended by the premise. But anyone who does see the film will recognise that it’s not a personal attack on Bush but an oblique way of exploring the direction his foreign policies have taken us.”
Channel 4 could also face a potential boycott from major US advertisers nervous of being associated with the film. Mr Dale said: “I’m sure there will be people who will be upset by it. But when you see it, it’s not sensationalist or exploitative. It’s a very powerful and thought-provoking drama.”
This looks like it is going to be a very interesting watch. Anyone who takes offence to it is fucking stupid. It’s fiction and deals with something many people are interested in. The next thing we’ll have is people asking for it to be banned so it doesn’t start a trend of copy cat attempts on his life. ‘Like there aren’t enough people who would assassinate El Presidente already”. I mean, c’mon people, get a fuckin’ grip!
I found an interesting article in today’s Daily Mail about what would happen if such a thing happened. I’ll see if I can find an online copy to show you.