Venus in Fur (2013)
La vida inesperada (2014)
After the Night (2013)
Salvo (2013)
An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker (2013)
Sacro GRA (2013)
The Selfish Giant (2013)

FESTIVALS Belgium

email print share on facebook share on twitter share on google+

Manipulating lives

by Vitor Pinto

05/07/2007

Two political leaders for two fictional assassinations: the Brussels European Film Festival is presenting in competition two mockumentaries that play with the fictional possibilities of the deaths of US president George W. Bush and Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

Unafraid to cause controversy – or deliberately seeking it as a way to shake audiences’ consciences – Gabriel Range's Death of a President – D.O.A.P. [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(see interview) and Morten Hartz Kaplers' AFR [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(see interview) prove, above all, that real images are privileged material from which to build stories, as well as an immense source of manipulation.

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

The two films, however, have different approaches. While D.O.A.P is a direct response to the Bush administration and disserts on the tragic consequences of his assassination (those who ever thought that Bush's death would help solve the world's greatest problems will certainly change their mind by the end of the film), AFR is the attempt at an intimate journey into the motivations of a killer, played by the director himself.

Range constructs his script as an investigation, presenting (false) testimonies from Bush's personal staff, Chicago police agents and FBI investigators. Original images have been technically manipulated in order to add or delete characters and place them in a different socio-political context. The idea isn't innovative – remember Forrest Gump meeting with former US leaders? – but it has never before been taken so far.

From this perspective, Kapler's mise-en-scène is less effective than Range's yet still seems reliable. Pity that AFR's theory that behind the crime was a "love that dare not speak its name" is less convincing than the family motivations of some of Range's characters. In that sense, Kapler's film flirts with a soap opera style and is openly emotive, whereas D.O.A.P prefers to maintain its seeming objectivity right through the last scene.

Its distribution seriously restricted and censured in the US, D.O.A.P was produced by Borough Film and backed by Channel 4, the UK channel that seems particularly fond of manipulating reality, from TV show Big Brother to Michael Winterbottom's political docudrama Road to Guantanamo [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
.

AFR received the Tiger Award at the latest Rotterdam Film Festival. Produced by Liberty Films, it was released locally in April. Trust Film Sales is handling world sales.

paris coprod village home
 

latest news

 

more news

Newsletter

Follow us on

facebook twitter youtube vimeo rss

EFA Home