Thursday, August 31, 2006

'Death of a President': Controversial British TV

British TV drama depicts fictional Bush shooting
By Adam Pasick

LONDON (Reuters) - British public broadcaster Channel 4 is courting controversy with what it calls a "shockingly real" television drama about a fictional assassination of President George W. Bush.

"Death of a President," shot in the form of a documentary, will use a blend of archival footage and computer-generated special effects to portray Bush in October 2007 arriving in Chicago during an anti-war rally.

In the film, Bush is shot to death by a sniper, and the investigation quickly focuses on a Syrian-born man. It will air in October on Channel 4's More4 digital channel, as well as at the Toronto Film Festival in September.

"It's a pointed political examination of what the war on terror is doing to the American body politic," said More4 boss Peter Dale at a press conference on Thursday.

Promotional materials described the program as "a thought-provoking critique of the contemporary U.S. political landscape."

Dale acknowledged that the program will be controversial but maintained that it was a sophisticated work meant to spur debate.

"I'm sure there will be people upset by it," he said. "I hope people will see the intention as a good one."

Channel 4, which is publicly owned but funded by advertising, was criticized last week by outgoing ITV Chief Executive Charles Allen for its reliance on reality TV shows and "shock docs."

More4's autumn schedule also includes "The Trial of Tony Blair," a satirical program about the future resignation of the British Prime Minister.

© Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.

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Elizabeth said...

wishful thinking...

Fletch said...

Hi Deb, just read about this earlier this week and it peaked my interest enough to see if I can get tickets when it opens at the Toronto festival next week. I'll let you know if I manage to see it.

Deb S. said...

Fletch: By all means, please let us know if you manage to see it. It would be great to hear your thoughts about it.

fletch said...

Hi again Deb, the film is playing on the 10th, 12th and 15th. Tickets go on sale on Wednesday...keep your fingers crossed for me.

Deb S. said...

Fletch: Absolutely! Good luck to you.

Fletch said...

If the demand says anthing about the film, it's going to be good!
It was sold out when we finally got through to try and purchase tickets (we were trying online and phone at the same time) at 8am today.
It's my own fault really. The Toronto festival is very popular and if you really want tickets you have to take part in the advanced draw lottery.
I suppose we'll have to wait and see if the film makes it here another way (another festival perhaps?).

Deb S. said...

Fletch: Thanks so much for keeping us updated. Sorry you missed out on the festival tickets.