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Death of a President
     

Death of a President

3.0 4
Director: Gabriel Range

Cast: Hend Ayoub, Brian Boland, Becky Ann Baker

 
The assassination of the most powerful leader in the free world is examined in this controversial mockumentary from British filmmaker Gabriel Range. On October 19, 2007, president George W. Bush is visiting Chicago when he impulsively stops to shake hands with supporters en route to a meeting, while a throng of protesters demonstrate

Overview

The assassination of the most powerful leader in the free world is examined in this controversial mockumentary from British filmmaker Gabriel Range. On October 19, 2007, president George W. Bush is visiting Chicago when he impulsively stops to shake hands with supporters en route to a meeting, while a throng of protesters demonstrate nearby. Shots ring out, and Bush is fatally wounded. As America and its allies deal with the tragic loss of their leader, vice president Dick Cheney is sworn in as the new chief executive, and while he takes the reigns of the nation and pushes new and aggressive anti-terrorism legislation through Congress, the Federal Bureau of Investigation steps into action to track down the gunman. As Secret Service agents and law enforcement officers share their thoughts on how the murder of the president could have been avoided, and people around the globe discuss how Bush's death has tipped the delicate balance of relations between the United States and the Middle East, a Syrian Muslim activist living in Chicago, Jamal Abu Zikri (Malik Bader), is charged with the murder of the president. While no "smoking gun" connects Zikri to the crime, a wealth of circumstantial evidence points to him as the gunman, and he's tried, found guilty, and executed in short order. However, lingering questions persist as some wonder if the F.B.I. found the right man with the right motives. Created using a combination of newsreel footage, computer-generated images, and newly staged material, Death of a President (aka D.O.A.P.) received the International Critics Prize at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival, despite negative reaction from many American political commentators, many of whom were deeply offended by the film's depiction of the assassination of Bush, the sitting U.S. president at the time of the picture's production and release.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
When conservative pundits first heard of this faux documentary, they likely thought it was some kind of hardcore partisan tactic -- or else just a sick joke. But Death of a President doesn't have nearly the political agenda you might imagine. Yes, it presents a fictitious scenario in which the actual sitting president actually gets assassinated, on a date a full year after the film's release -- which gave it an air of eerie possibility for those who saw it in theaters or soon after. Such a project was unheard of at best, in poor taste at worst. But through the fond recollections of witnesses and other involved parties, Death of a President actually manages to lionize George W. Bush more than it vilifies him, saving its sharpest implied criticisms for the teeming protestors, whose vitriol helps enable the fatal security breach. What may be even more surprising is that there isn't a hint of a wink from British director Gabriel Range. The events that transpire are entirely plausible, and are presented with an unnerving straightforwardness, often involving the controversial use of real speeches and news footage, its audio and video manipulated to the context of the film. The thing is, even though the whole shebang is carried off with total verisimilitude, aided by an anonymous cast disappearing into their roles, Range can't elevate D.O.A.P. above the level of curiosity. It's an exceedingly watchable curiosity, but not an important one. There may be the underlying implication that Bush's policies could drive a person to murderous lengths, but otherwise, Range fails to produce any discernible message. Whether that's to soften a tough sell, or owing to a lack of conviction, it's hard to say. What he ends up with is basically an elaborate gimmick, with more value as a publicity stunt than art.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/03/2007
UPC:
0012236212300
Original Release:
2006
Rating:
R
Source:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
1:37:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; Director's commentary; Filmmaker's commentary; Interviews; Trailer gallery

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Hend Ayoub Zahra Abi Zikri
Brian Boland Larry Stafford
Becky Ann Baker Eleanor Drake
Robert Mangiardi Greg Turner
Jay Patterson Sam McCarthy
Jay Whittaker Frank Molini
Michael Reilly Burke Robert H. Maguire
James Urbaniak Dr. James Pearn
M. Neko Parham Casey Claybon
Seena Jon Samir Masri
Christian Stolte John Rucinski
Chavez Ravine Marianne Claybon
Dawn Newton Patricia BUckley
Patrick Clear Adam Brock
Malik Bader Jamal Abu Zikri
Tony Dale Al Claybon

Technical Credits
Gabriel Range Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Gary Baugh Production Designer
Peter Carlton Executive Producer
Simon Finch Producer,Screenwriter
Ed Guiney Producer
Robin Gutch Producer
Richard Harvey Score Composer
Liza Marshall Executive Producer
Alex Riordan Sound Mixer
Michael Shea Asst. Director
Claire Simon Casting
Graham Smith Cinematographer
Brand Thumim Editor
Cindy Tolan Casting

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Death of a President
1. Stopping to Think [5:54]
2. Chicago Hates Bush [3:24]
3. Security Breach [3:42]
4. Tension Rising [4:44]
5. The Meaning of Justice [4:23]
6. Not a Big Fan [7:00]
7. Sniper Suspect [3:21]
8. Person of Interest [3:39]
9. Strong Heart [9:23]
10. Sources Say [8:38]
11. Syrian Influence [5:09]
12. Patriot Act [7:19]
13. Promising Evidence [4:12]
14. Devastating News [9:58]
15. A Desperate Man [6:22]
16. Leaking Sources [9:37]

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Death of a President 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The special effects and acting were great in this movie. You start out with a good impression of a documentary. The movie's portrail that the FBI was mistaken in that a Muslim was the culprit becomes obvious and only gets worse. By the end of the movie if you don't see it is a gimmick you are not paying close enough attention.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is obvious that those who support George W Bush will go out of their way to write a bad review any chance they get. This is one of the best films that I have seen in a while. The flow was seamless and the casting was excellent. Every twist and turn hit so close to home because the moods and motives of the characters were taken from real-world events... That is the reason right-wingers will find it to be a turn off. Reality bites!
Guest More than 1 year ago
DEATH OF A PRESIDENT is most assuredly a film that will cause boisterous anger among those who are reacting to the title. It is an 'imagined documentary' about the assassination of President Bush on October 19, 2007, using this 'event' to explore the manner in which the US government copes with such a proposed event. In ways it echoes the JFK assassination, an event that still is under scrutiny as to why it happened and who was ultimately responsible. Using actual footage of President Bush at an Economic conference in Chicago along with reporters and actors who supply the drama, the film 'shows' the assassination and the aftermath with the subsequent frightening state of Cheney as President. But the emphasis is on how the driver of the story is placing blame, finding a perpetrator and then convincing Washington and the public why the event happened. It is terrifyingly believable. But few will see the film this way - a possibility and a series of consequences that might result. Perhaps it is better to quote the writer/director Gabriel Range who seems to sum it up best: "I have always known that I would be condemned for the very idea of this film, but I believe that sometimes it is not only acceptable for art to be outrageous - it is necessary. We live in a time of incredible fear... The advance condemnation of this film by politicians and pundits who have not seen - and may never see - this film reflects the landscape of fear in which we live today, and which my film attempts to address." Enough said. Grady Harp
Anonymous More than 1 year ago