I have avoided watching this movie for years, because I thought it such a disrespectful way to portray a standing President, especially at a time when some were probably wishing him dead … until they realized Dick Cheney would have become POTUS!
So the other night I’m skipping around my 800 channels looking for something, anything worth watching before I turn to tried-and-true On Demand.
And there it was …! Death of a President on one of the movie package channels.
A 2006 docudrama, produced in Britain (I had thought it was a German production.) as a “high concept” political thriller.
Not so sure about the “high concept” thing, but nonetheless … The question was should I swallow my Sense of Propriety; watch it; and see what value – if any – it offered. Or should I continue to avoid it like I do the Michael Moore: Outraged activist while I’m making all this money spectacle?
I decided to watch it.
Should have held onto my Sense of Propriety just a bit longer.
Sure, I get it. If you want to do a docudrama right, you must have some Docu in the Drama! You have to have a hook to connect the theoretical subject with reality.
I’m sorry. No … You really don’t have a whack a President, no matter how unpopular he is, in order to sell an entertainment concept. His inclusion added nothing to the subject matter of what happens in a theoretical situation. POTUS could have very well have been played by some formless, off-camera subject.
But let’s not kid ourselves. The fact that George W.Bush was so roundly hated in 2006 simply made the concept more palatable to a large section of the population … both here and abroad.
If you don’t believe that, just answer the following questions honestly.
If it was the current President being portrayed in this way – simply to sell a docudrama concept as being relatable, up-to-date, and credible – what do you think the reaction would be in this country?
Do you think – at a time when Kim Jong-un could stop a comedy dead in its tracks – the movie would have a chance at seeing the bright lights of the local Bijou???
I don’t … not for a second.
I can understand your not liking the film. I can’t personally get from there to “no one should be able to release films about”…anything. This is a world where you can watch a film about two women eating poop from a cup. And here’s a film about the (theoretical) assassination of a real, living President. No one made you pay to watch it.
Freedom of speech is all about protecting unpopular opinions. Popular ones don’t need protection. It’s reasonable to place age restrictions upon viewing, but not “subject restrictions” upon adult viewers. That’s why everyone who initially caved to North Korea’s threat walked it back soon after. I haven’t watched this film, or The Interview, but I’m a free speech and free market advocate. If a work can appeal to enough of an audience to pay for it, or if the artists are willing to pay for it themselves, it should exist and be able to be seen.
I don’t have a problem with people viewing the movie if they wish. Certainly there are much worse things to view or read if one so desires. I just thought it inappropriate and a bit one-sided, if you buy into the theory that there is no way the same movie would be made in 2014-15 about the current President.