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The Hunting of the President

Year: 2004
Director: Nickolas Perry/Harry Thomason
At one end of the political spectrum, the US Republican party spent more money trying to run Bill Clinton out of office over Monica Lewinsky and Whitewater than it did investigating the events of September 11, 2001. At the other, Michael Moore claimed that no less than six documentaries were bankrolled by the same party to discredit him after the success of Fahrenheit 9/11.

The former is a reminder that the primary purpose of today's political parties isn't to serve the will of the people; it's to win office. The latter is a reminder that you can't really trust anybody - who's to say The Hunting of the President wasn't bankrolled by the US Democrats in response to Republican smears?

Taken at face value, it effectively chronicles the right wing's attempt to oust Clinton at any cost, grabbing at any straw from dodgy real estate associates to extramarital activity.

Initially a little bit cheesy - even with Morgan Freeman's narration (which mysteriously disappears halfway through) - a tone of somber menace is achieved by the use of a low, haunting musical note almost constantly as the argument is made chapter by chapter for how Clinton's detractors and enemies drew their plans.

Drawing on dozens of interviewees few Australians will be familiar with, it tells of a conspiracy that bodes very badly for democracy in the face of relentless and well-organised propaganda.

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