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Death of a President: A film with a message


John Simkin
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Article in yesterday's Guardian:

http://film.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,,1933869,00.html

Ed Pilkington in New York

Saturday October 28, 2006

The Guardian

Death of a President, the film that depicts the future assassination of George Bush as a comment on the civil liberties excesses of the current Republican administration, opened in fewer than 120 cinemas across America yesterday, with thousands of outlets refusing to show it.

The largest owner of cinemas in the country, Regal Entertainment Group, has blocked the film from its 6,300 screens, as has the second-largest chain, Century Theatres. Two major broadcasters, CNN and National Public Radio, have refused advertisements for the film.

Hillary Clinton has waded into the controversy, calling the shooting episode despicable. She has not seen the movie, as its creators have been eager to point out.

The film, which won the international critics' prize at the Toronto film festival last month, shows in documentary style the fictional shooting of Mr Bush on October 19 2007 on the streets of Chicago. Real footage of a Bush speech is used and images of him are digitally manipulated during the assassination scene, while the funeral of Ronald Reagan provides material for the post-shooting sequences.

The British director of the film, Gabriel Range, said he had expected the assassination scene to cause controversy. He used it, he said, as a metaphor for America's reaction to 9/11.

"A metaphor for 9/11 has to be something truly devastating and extreme, like the assassination of President Bush. The terrible event in the film would not have an impact that could be compared in any way to 9/11 if it involved the death of a fictional president."

It is not a great film but it is of interest to researchers as the plot is based on the assassination of JFK. The film suggests that Dick Cheney is behind the plot as it allows him to become president and to order the invasion of Syria (the lone gunman has links with Syria). Lyndon Johnson was supposed to order the invasion of Cuba as Oswald had close links with Castro. LBJ of course chickened out and decided to go with the "lone nut" solution.

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The film suggests that Dick Cheney is behind the plot as it allows him to become president and to order the invasion of Syria (the lone gunman has links with Syria). Lyndon Johnson was supposed to order the invasion of Cuba as Oswald had close links with Castro. LBJ of course chickened out and decided to go with the "lone nut" solution.

Since there can be little doubt now that LBJ ordered the assassination and there is no doubt LBJ and FBI director J. Edgar Hoover ran the coverup that's still a hot topic today, it's not surprising the movie tries to parallel history with fiction. It's obvious why LBJ didn't invade Cuba since he was involved with the murder planning up front. I've seen numerous references in the press recently to the movie

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Gary Mack has sent me a message about the film:

"If you'll check the box office numbers for the PER THEATER results so far, you'll find that hardly anyone wants to see this film. The gross receipts are extremely low for each theater showing it, which means P.T. Barnum was wrong. There isn't a sucker born every minute."

I am not sure what Gary Mack means by this. Is he saying that the CIA is interested in attacking the film? Is he saying that only people who agree that JFK was assassinated in an attempt to overthrow Castro will want to see the film?

The film has been shown on TV in the UK. In fact, it has been shown all over Europe. I am afraid that a very high percentage of people outside the US do believe it is possible that a vice president would organize the assassination of a president in order to further his right-wing foreign policy agenda. I believe a poll taken in the US recently showed that 62% of Americans believe they were misled by Bush about the reasons why the US invaded Iraq. Maybe it is the people who believe that JFK was assassinated by Oswald and that Bush invaded Iraq to impose democracy who are the real suckers.

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Gary Mack has sent me a message about the film:

"If you'll check the box office numbers for the PER THEATER results so far, you'll find that hardly anyone wants to see this film. The gross receipts are extremely low for each theater showing it, which means P.T. Barnum was wrong. There isn't a sucker born every minute."

I am not sure what Gary Mack means by this. Is he saying that the CIA is interested in attacking the film? Is he saying that only people who agree that JFK was assassinated in an attempt to overthrow Castro will want to see the film?

The film has been shown on TV in the UK. In fact, it has been shown all over Europe. I am afraid that a very high percentage of people outside the US do believe it is possible that a vice president would organize the assassination of a president in order to further his right-wing foreign policy agenda. I believe a poll taken in the US recently showed that 62% of Americans believe they were misled by Bush about the reasons why the US invaded Iraq. Maybe it is the people who believe that JFK was assassinated by Oswald and that Bush invaded Iraq to impose democracy who are the real suckers.

The movie is showing in a local art house theater. I hope to check it out before it goes bye-bye. That said, I have problems with any movie built around the murder of an unpopular figure. It raises the possibility that people will go to see the movie because they want to see the person killed. It would be in bad taste if it was about Bin Laden and it's in bad taste to make such a film about Bush. Fortunately, the ideas expressed in this film sound more interesting than "SEE BUSH GET KILLED."

There are those who can't let themselves believe a VP would ever kill a P, particularly not a VP with ties to the most hypocritical state in the country. It's too bad.

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This movie of course could never have been made in America. Who would finance it? Since the director is British, I assume it was made in Britain. That too is somewhat surprising, given that Britain is America's main partner in the invasion of Iraq, with "Yo, Blair" being a presidential lapdog. One would think that a British filmmaker would therefore have similiar trouble to an American filmmaker in getting financial backing to make such a film. But that is apparently not the case. Can one assume from the production of this film that Britain today is a freer society than America?

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This movie of course could never have been made in America. Who would finance it? Since the director is British, I assume it was made in Britain. That too is somewhat surprising, given that Britain is America's main partner in the invasion of Iraq, with "Yo, Blair" being a presidential lapdog. One would think that a British filmmaker would therefore have similiar trouble to an American filmmaker in getting financial backing to make such a film. But that is apparently not the case. Can one assume from the production of this film that Britain today is a freer society than America?

The film is funded by C4, a UK television company. It has a reputation for funding and showing "difficult" subjects. As a result, it has developed a reputation for trying to get to the truth about political issues. I, for example, watch C4 news instead of BBC news. They are also currently looking at a proposal for making a series of documentaries about political crimes, including the assassination of JFK.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0853096/

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Can one assume from the production of this film that Britain today is a freer society than America?

Not only Britain. If you look at the media in general, Europe is a completely different world compared to the USA. I often wonder what all this – keeping up appearances - is for, who they think actually believes it and whom such a thing really serves? Why would a country treat its citizens like a bunch of five year old children except the purpose to prepare them for any future abuse? Could it be that if you grow up in such a “perfect-world” you might swallow any fabricated truth easier when it comes to it?

When it first started with this....beeping-psychosis… I thought, it will only be a temporary thing and vanish within a couple of months, but wrong.

The prohibition of the four letter words became the eleventh commandment which seems to be the bigger issue then the environmental problems.

So if a country does not even allow its media to audio the way its own people talk what kind of an impression will such a thing create? This you can not really call a free society can you?

But maybe the nature of your question was only sarcasm and I wasn’t f.....g realising it.

:blink:

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maybe the nature of your question was only sarcasm and I wasn’t f.....g realising it.

I was not being sarcastic. I believe that American "democracy" is dying a slow death, and that the people are too busy with other things to be at the bedside. The attitude, aside from outright denial, seems to be "let it die, it's too much trouble to try to take care of."

I was just wondering to what extent America's partner in crimes Britain is also a dying democracy. Is it a worse case, not as terminal, or about the same.

Edited by Ron Ecker
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Guest John Gillespie
The film suggests that Dick Cheney is behind the plot as it allows him to become president and to order the invasion of Syria (the lone gunman has links with Syria). Lyndon Johnson was supposed to order the invasion of Cuba as Oswald had close links with Castro. LBJ of course chickened out and decided to go with the "lone nut" solution.

Since there can be little doubt now that LBJ ordered the assassination and there is no doubt LBJ and FBI director J. Edgar Hoover ran the coverup that's still a hot topic today, it's not surprising the movie tries to parallel history with fiction. It's obvious why LBJ didn't invade Cuba since he was involved with the murder planning up front. I've seen numerous references in the press recently to the movie

__________________________

"...it's not surprising the movie tries to parallel history with fiction." Much like your writing, Bill. Sloppy, presumptuous and...sloppy.

JG

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Guest John Gillespie

I was just wondering to what extent America's partner in crimes Britain is also a dying democracy. Is it a worse case, not as terminal, or about the same.

____________________________________

Ron,

That's about as well as I have seen the syndrome assessed; very succinctly done. Thanks. Among us, the denial part is not working as we can see all kinds of vices, i.e. gluttony, gambling, drugs, etc. proliferate (I almost laugh at the drumbeat from the media about obesity being an "epidemic," as if it were a virus and the root causes weren't manifest). Among the more disciplined, the attitude does seem to be that democracy is too much trouble to try to save; but, this leaves its uneasiness as well, along with a gaping, vacuous hole for ideologues to abhor.

There have been stirrings for a long while for a constitutional convention but now there seems to be more impetus with the spectre of a Democratic run on The Congress and the more significant prospect of Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker. Matter of fact, over the weekend the Boston Globe editorialized for a Con-con, as the Birch Society puts it.

As for Britain, last rites were administered during the Clinton Administration.

Regards,

JG

It is not a great film but it is of interest to researchers as the plot is based on the assassination of JFK. The film suggests that Dick Cheney is behind the plot as it allows him to become president and to order the invasion of Syria (the lone gunman has links with Syria). Lyndon Johnson was supposed to order the invasion of Cuba as Oswald had close links with Castro. LBJ of course chickened out and decided to go with the "lone nut" solution.

My God, what simplistic and willfully stupid claptrap.

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Article in yesterday's Guardian:

"Lyndon Johnson was supposed to order the invasion of Cuba as Oswald had close links with Castro. LBJ of course chickened out and decided to go with the 'lone nut' solution."

_______________

My God, what simplistic and willfully stupid claptrap.

John G, are you denying that such a scenario is reasonable or merely that it is likely? If you feel that it is highly unlikely that Right-Wingers set up Oswald to provoke an invasion, why? What scenario do you consider more reasonable?

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__________________________

"...it's not surprising the movie tries to parallel history with fiction." Much like your writing, Bill. Sloppy, presumptuous and...sloppy.

JG

Mr.Gillespie,

I would like to propose that you show some more respect for other forum members and if you have a concern with one of their postings you should address the issue with a bit more gravitas. Several members, myself included have been insulted by your lack of tact in the past.

Sincerely,

John Geraghty

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John Geraghty' wrote:

Mr.Gillespie,

I would like to propose that you show some more respect for other forum members and if you have a concern with one of their postings you should address the issue with a bit more gravitas. Several members, myself included have been insulted by your lack of tact in the past.

Sincerely,

John Geraghty

Well, I'm not insulted.... gravitas? Lordy-be, they stop believing in the Shamrock, too!

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David,

John in the past has referred to me as 'a charlatan' and 'less than astute' , there are several other instances where John takes a less than tactful tone towards members. You may not find offence in Mr.Gillespies attitude towards other members, but I do.

He can say what he likes within the bounds of an argument, but personal attacks should be left at home.

John

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