The loudest buzz at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival concerns a British-made movie, “Death of a President,” which enacts the assassination of George W. Bush.
The film doesn’t quite come out and say Bush deserves what he gets when he is murdered on-screen in 2007. But “Death” is clearly intended as a parable about the dark, self-inflicted fate of Bushized America in the aftermath of 9/11.
So one is left with questions: How widespread are such anti-American, or at least anti-Bush, feelings? More broadly, do movies represent mere escapism or a hoped-for wish-fulfillment? And to put it most starkly, are the actors in the reel world seeking to encourage a copycat in the real world?
On 9/11 five years ago, this same film festival canceled its screenings and parties for the remainder of Black Tuesday out of respect for the dead, and the rest of the fest was notably nonfestive. But this year, the screenings and partyings are going on as usual; “Death” is as close to an official commemoration of 9/11 as one can find here.