A docudrama is a fictional account of a past event told in the style of a documentary. It is not something that is pure fiction or something set in the future. That would be science fiction in most cases and just plain fiction in all others. There is no instance where you can call something a docudrama if the event it deals with has never happened. This is the case of a new television movie event hitting England very soon.
“Death of a President” is a honest attempt at discussion done in a very sick and twisted way that will only serve to color the audience who will tune in. It is a story set after the October 2007 assassination of President George W. Bush as he leaves the Sheraton Hotel in Chicago. The purpose of this drama is to bring up the subject of the War on Terrorism and how much of it is Bush’s private crusade and how much is in America’s real interest. Peter Dale, who heads More4 which is the channel airing this movie has said it was a “thought-provoking critique” of America today.
“It is an extraordinarily gripping and powerful piece of work, a drama constructed like a documentary that looks back on the assassination of George Bush as the starting point for a very gripping detective story…It is not sensationalist, or simplistic but a very thought-provoking, power drama. I hope people will see that the intention behind it is good.”
I believe in their intent, but not in their delivery. I think they have used the wrong term to describe their work as I have already explained. This is fiction, not a docudrama. They are trying to provoke another case of “Reactionary Protester Syndrome”. That is why the makers of this film are marketing it in the manor they are of course. A docudrama is always taken more seriously than a fictional drama.
“Reactionary Protester Syndrome” is a term I have coined to explain why people seem to bring success to things they wish to stop. It is almost reflexive for them at times. A compulsion they just cannot help. Sometimes I almost think that the producers of these works affected by RPS are actually the ones behind these protests just for the free publicity, but sadly that is probably not the case.
The people who will protest this movie are the same people who protested “Passions of the Christ” and got the “Reagans” and “Book of Daniel” taken off the air. These magical people have the gift of determining what is of value to an audience based off of a shooting script and a few scenes. These people went into the wrong business. They could have done better working in Hollywood instead of whatever it is they do now.
What ever happened to the days of actually waiting until you were actually offended by something before the drama began? We now have pre-emptive drama. This is ridiculous. The protesters only serve to increase awareness of the thing they hate. This is the central curse of "Reactionary Protester Syndrome". It is usually a case of a small group of people so morally outraged by the very idea of something that they bring it to the forefront and inspire curiosity. Those who suffer from RPS usually bring the exact success they so fear.
Personally, I look forward to seeing this movie to see where it goes with the plot. They should have used a different President’s name rather than a sitting President. There are still issues about portraying the death of a sitting President, but the plot overall sounds interesting to me. It is all up to how they handle it. I would hope they deal more the reasons behind such a plot and who would profit and such. I doubt they will make a movie where the sun suddenly shines as Bush is buried or anything like that.
Here is a novel idea: why don’t we wait to actually see it before we get offended by it? I saw “Passions of the Christ” before I opposed that movie. Yes, I did not like it or Mel Gibson after I saw it, but at least I went with an open mind and came to my own conclusion about it. All I ask is the same respect.