The President vs David Hicks

Year: 2004
Production Co: SBS
Director: Curtis Levy
Producer: Curtis Levy

Along with the continuing rise of the doco genre comes a rash of projects probing deeper and deeper into the world shaping events of the day, one of them The President vs David Hicks.

The first question that will strike you is; do we really need a film about David Hicks and his father's journey to learn what made him tick before landing in the Guantanamo Bay prison camp? At the risk of sounding politically incorrect, do we need the finer details of every story from the front lines of the War on Terror? Isn't Hicks just the drop in a very large ocean?

It certainly puts a human face on the travesty of holding anyone the US calls an 'enemy combatant' for years without trial or legal counsel, but are we supposed to care more about Hicks because he's Australian, more than the tens of thousands of Iraqis, Afghanis (and New Yorkers) slaughtered in the conflagration so far?

The directors might argue it's not about Afghanistan, the Taliban or 9/11, it's about Hicks and his family. It's sad to see his stepmother (who could be your Aunty or grandma) crying in her kitchen wondering where David is, but as a piece of cinema the films drags, and you'll find yourself feeling guilty for not really responding to it.

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