In our world it seems that as soon as a clear need appears, it is met falsely. It becomes a new occasion for exploitation.…We are not sold real apples or real ice cream, we are sold the idea of the apple, the memory of ice cream.
Saul Bellow (1915 - 2005), novelist
It wasn’t long ago that a movie or TV show would ever touch the subject of a presidential assignation, but “24” has and now “Death of a President” by British filmmaker Gabriel Range has gone so far as to combine archival footage as well as computer generated images to show George W. Bush being shot outside a Chicago hotel.
Artists tend to strive toward the shocking to inspire a reaction, even negative feedback is positive to an artist because it means that people are reacting to the work. The public relations for “Death of a President” are in high gear. I’m not sure anyone has seen the movie other than the still photography used to create publicity about the film, yet it’s being widely discussed before its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival next week.
The message here for groups against any particular film or book is to ignore it. The White House Gang attempted to ignore it by issuing a statement that says they will not dignify the movie with a response, but that comment was even too much. They should have said we never heard of it, and if we see it we’ll comment.