Thursday, October 19, 2006

Death of a President - a running diary

This film is running this evening on Channel 4 in the UK. A few thoughts while I'm watching it.

Starts at 10:00

10:20 - I'm a bit slow to start. Thus far the film has been entirely focused on how scary protesters are and how wonderful President Bush is. They have protesters running around in leather and face masks and bandanas on their faces. Policemen and security are interviewed and they all exude an air of fear of protesters. The film glorifies Bush to a great extent.

Oh, and the protesters "hate Bush". That's all that's going on.

"There's a new breed of anarchist...the only way to deal with this kind of individual is brute force," says a police captain interviewed.

The film plays up the Kim Jong Il threat.

10:24 more interviews with a Bush speechwriter Bush's "we seek peace" speech is being contrasted with drum-beating, flag-burning protesters.

10:25 now the Police are attacking protesters who had refused to move away to give Bush his free city block (or whatever the distance was) so he could leave his speech location.

10:27 Bush is leaving the hotel. Security guy has a "bad feeling" about the walk to the car. More verbal fellating by a speechwriter. "When the President shakes your hand there is noone else in the world."

"Danny Williams", an environmental protester is whisked away.
Shooting happens right after - very quickly.

10:31 limo is racing to hospital

Oh, it seems that the suspect "Frank Mollini" had been the subject of NSA wiretapping! This movie is really hitting all the bases, isn't it!

(I'm really glad I'm not paying money for this.)

More involving sympathetic Secret Service people, policemen, etc.

Protesters are celebrating the fact that Bush had been shot. Movie is starting to bore me. It's making Path to 9/11 look brilliant. I miss Harvey Keitel.

Ooh - on the back of one protester's hoodie is the word "Yglesias".

10:48 getting very bored. Starting to see what people at IMDB have said.

Ooh - more people talking about "hatred of the President". seems like it's picking up. They are letting the Mollini character complain about the police. Uh oh, now he's talking about penetrating security. Oh, but Mollini wasn't the shooter, he just had an amateurish poster.

10:51 Samir Kasri - an American of Yemeni descent, is the next subject. "Bush and Ashcroft deported my mother and father."

10:52 "We weren't just rounding up people, we had probable cause every time." I think this man needs some clarification about the meaning of the phrase "probably cause" because he follows this up by saying that they were looking for a "non-white" person. I guess being non-white is probable cause.

10:55 Oh crap - Bush is dead and Cheney is the new President.
This is the scariest movie I've ever seen!

Now an Arab has been arrested. This is annoying because they are interviewing the suspect's mother and she speaks Arabic (I'm guessing) so I have to pay attention to subtitles. Which makes posting harder.

11:03 some hack cop says Syrian suspect is "a man without a conscience"

11:09 now they have a Syrian expat calling the suspect guilty and saying this was a "Syrian state-sponsored assassination". Points to the film for highlighting the lack of credibility of expatriates who want the US to overthrow their home government.

11:11 They are playing "Battle Hymn of the Republic" at Bush's funeral. Uh, Battle Hymn was a Union fighting song during the Civil War. Odds it will be played at the funeral of a President from Texas? Seems low.

Yikes! President Cheney!

11:41 I've been totally bored for the past half hour. The movie is mired in what is apparently the conviction of one man for the shooting when apparently somebody else is guilty.

11:47 movie ending - wrong guy has been convicted, true killer had committed suicide after shooting Bush.

On the whole the film was really quite dull. A number of the things it's trying to do it doesn't do very well. It also falls into the trap of "evenhandedness", where all of the characters are shown to be equally reasonable people.

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