[ 2006-09-13 08:55 ]
After you kill off President
George W. Bush in a fictional film, what do you do? How about make a
|A scene from the controversial British film
'Death of a President,' a fictional documentary showing the
assassination of President Bush.
Gabriel Range, the British producer/director/creator
of "Death of a President," the fictional documentary that sight unseen
became one of the most talked-about movies of the Toronto Film Festival,
has sold U.S. distribution rights to Newmarket Films.
which reportedly paid $1 million for the film, is expected to give
"President" a wide release within the next few months. It will air on
Britain's Channel 4 next month.
Range's film opened on Sunday night to a sell-out festival crowd, which sat
respectfully through it and applauded briefly at the end. Those who
remained after the screening peppered the filmmaker with questions on how
he achieved his special effects.
The film is shot as if it were a conventional television documentary, even though the events are
Range, who also co-wrote the film, uses footage taken of Bush during
three visits to Chicago to create the scenes that lead up top the
president being shot.
He also uses special digital effects to superimpose the head of the
president on that of an actor pretending to be shot, and he creates a
flowery eulogy delivered by
President Dick Cheney at the funeral of his predecessor.
The movie opens with demonstrations against Bush as he visits Chicago
in 2007. As he leaves a hotel after delivering a speech, he is shot by a
sniper in a nearby building.
A police hunt leads to the arrest of a Palestinian man on flimsy evidence. Later the man is convicted
of the assassination and kept in prison even as evidence points to another
person as having committed the crime.
"The reaction of the general public was very good," Range said in an
interview with Reuters about the opening night response.
"People didn't know what to expect. Our film has a very striking
premise but it is not
sensational or gratuitous. I
hope people will see it as a balanced film and compelling drama. It is an
oblique look at the ways the United States has changed since 9/11. We use
the lens of the future to explain the past."
The 93-minute film's subject matter has led to protests in the United
States, especially from conservatives. Range said he has received five or
six death threats.