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Death of a President: post-9/11 docudrama as shock, trauma and victimhood

By Michael Stewart


This paper examines the hypothetical docudrama Death of a President (2006). While sharing a number of its sister Wall-to-Wall texts’ narrative and generic features, Death of a President focuses more strongly on the war on terror. The paper examines the nature of this focus – the way in which the war on terror is treated aesthetically and ideologically by Death of a President. Two sequences in particular are examined in detail: the opening parts of the docudrama, and its final 16 minutes. These sequences, along with other parts of the text, show that, ultimately, Death of a President is a familiar and conservative text. After opening up a number of important questions regarding security, guilt and the politics of fear, Death of a President chooses to make sense of these complex areas via trauma, memory and victimhood – in particular via the idea of the US veteran as a victim of war

Publisher: Intellect
Year: 2011
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