Death of a President was one of the most controversial films that played at the Toronto Film Festival. CHUD’s own Russ Fischer hated it – read his review here – but it garnered the Fipresci International Critics Award. Good? Bad? You’ll get a chance to make up your own mind soon enough, as the film is being released on October 27, just before the midterm elections.
The trailer for the film is here, and it doesn’t really show all that much, although it is convincing in its documentary style. There’s also a poster, which you see to the right of this text, and it’s… interesting. I don’t know that I would say that I like it as a piece of art, but it does get your attention and make you look closer.
Interestingly, life has already lapped art in the case of this movie, which is actually mostly about the aftermath of Bush’s assassination as opposed to the actual event – our own legislators this week passed a pro-torture bill that effectively suspends habeas corpus, one of the cornerstones of legal fairness since 1215. Habeas corpus is what allows you to challenge the basic legality of your detention – without it the government can round you up and detain you for pretty much any reason and as long as it liked. Habeas corpus was so important that the Founding Fathers included it in Article One of the United States Constitution: "The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it." Habeas corpus was suspended by Abraham Lincoln in the Civil War, a move that still inspires much debate.