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Review: The Hunting of the President (2004)

The Hunting of the President (2004)

Directed by: Harry Thomason and Nickolas Perry

Premise: A film that outlines the attempts to undermine the presidency of Bill Clinton.

What Works: The film manages to summarize ten years of material within ninety minutes very effectively. It includes interviews with some of the principal characters involved and its examination of how the Washington press core was lead astray is very interesting and unnerving.

What Doesn’t: The film skims over a lot of material and never seems to answer the one key question: why did these people want to bring down Bill Clinton so badly? Also, some of the insert shots and archival footage are rather lame. The film clearly has a point to make and in doing so it ignores Clinton’s responsibility in these affairs.

DVD extras: Trailer, President Clinton speaking after the premiere.

Bottom Line: The Hunting of the President is like many of the books that have been written about Clinton; it has a clear point of view and a political agenda. The viewer should not assume that this documentary—or any documentary—was made from some kind of objective point of view. That said, this film is an effective political text that reveals important political issues and problems, such as the power and fallibility of the news media, that are larger than the parties involved.

Episode: #26 (November 7, 2004)