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Saturday, November 01, 2008

Being W


After their previous films “Being Jacques Chirac” and Sego et Sarko sont dans un Bateau, writer-directors Karl Zero and Michael Royer reapplied the same “technique” to the present tenant of the White House and the end product is highly entertaining.

Their “technique” is to string together a collection of archive material including news footage, press conferences, political broadcasts, interviews and home video to portrait George W Bush rise to power and his subsequent use of it. The political satire includes chapters like W as Walker, W as WASP and so on, through W as Warrior and finally W as Wrong.

Yes, at moments it is truly hilarious but I believe that they were able to manage the seriousness of all the matters they present. Still I had the feeling that they were too kind in their satire, as I was expecting something more callous.

Most interesting was to find that the writers originally started to write the script in French, but soon enough they realized that they had to use not only English as the main language, but also had to write it thinking with American cultural values. Here are some of their words for those that understand French.

Il y a là quelque chose qui tient du mystère absolu, et j'adore essayer de percer à jour les mystères ! La seule façon d'y arriver était de prendre le bison texan par les cornes. De nous plonger dans la jungle des images d'archives, des biographies, des docus, de nous "américaniser" au maximum, culturellement et politiquement parlant... Mais nous n'imaginions pas que cela serait aussi "tough"!

For the first two thirds the film is highly entertaining with many hilarious moments, then things get more serious; but that’s exactly what happened in real life, isn’t?

One segment stayed in my mind and I’m still thinking about it as so exactly reflects today reality when Bush is about to terminate his mandate. When Bush was running for Texas Governor the then current Governor, Ann Richards, that was running for re-election said something very interesting and the clip was included. She says something like this: Bush served in the board of five (?) companies and all five companies lost money. Well, it is a fact that Bush served in the highest position of the country for two terms and now that he’s leaving the country citizens (and the world citizens too) are loosing so much money, among other things. Is this a coincidence or just him replicating his trajectory?

Anyway it is fun to watch for most of the duration and well, it is suited for all citizens of the world, especially those that would not be offended by “an unauthorized autobiography” of Mr. Bush.

Enjoy!

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