Death of a President
- Crime, Documentary, Drama, Fake Documentary, Thriller , produced in 2006 UK
- Actors: George W. Bush, Becky Ann Baker
- Directed by: Gabriel Range
- Rating: 6.30 out of 10 (2247 votes)
British director Gabriel Range (THE DAY BRITAIN STOPPED) imagines the aftereffects of the assassination of George W. Bush in this fictional documentary ("mockumentary" seems too playful a word for this relentlessly taut film) set in 2008. Range uses real news footage, staged scenes (shot on high-res video but cleverly doctored to resemble grainy satellite news images and security-camera tapes), and phony talking-head interviews to create a compelling and believable thriller for the CNN generation. He even adds some whodunit elements, along with philosophical musings about post-9/11 civil liberties, the psychological effects of war, and the multilayered impact that such a murder would have on the world.
What makes Range's story so believable--in addition to the excellent performances by the "interviewees" playing FBI agents, beat cops, advisors, and suspects--is the wide scope of political and personal viewpoints given equal voice. The president is seen as neither a hero nor a villain; his advisors and security team are loyal and even-keeled but not without their own irrational prejudices, and the assassin's motives, while not condoned, are made to seem understandable. This is a deeply compassionate look at a fictional situation that could very well become a reality--rather than lulling viewers with escapism, Range asks them to consider the consequences of the events unfolding all around them.
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