The Hunting of the President
June 11, 2004
Movie of the Day for Tuesday, May 18, 2004
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After watching his good friends Bill and Hillary Clinton endure attacks on their credibility and honesty in the wake of numerous accusations about potential criminal activity, TV producer Harry Thomason took on the very personal task of directing a documentary film that to his mind, stands to set the record straight.
The Hunting of the President, based on the New York Times bestseller by Gene Lyons and Joe Conason, will explore what the makers of the films call " the myths and truths behind the nearly ten-year campaign to systematically destroy the political legacy of the Clintons."
Segments from the film will focus on previously unreleased materials, interviews with the players involved, and revelations from both conservatives and liberals to provide an informative examination of the smear campaign against President Bill Clinton, from his days as governor of Arkansas all the way up to his impeachment trial. Given that the official Web site notes, "Kenneth Starr fans, beware," potential viewers should probably take note that at first glance at least, the film appears to be one-sided (and I say that as a professed Democrat, liberal, and person who thinks Bill Clinton is a genius). Clips that are displayed on the site definitely give the impression that the documentary is aimed at a very specific target audience.
Nonetheless, Thomason notes, " I know that Clinton is a historical figure who must be examined accurately, and we were careful not to give him a 'pass.' I worry that we were actually too tough."
The film premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, and will be officially released by distributor Regent Entertainment during the summer in New York and Los Angeles. That small-scale showing will be followed up by a college tour in cities such as Boston, Madison, Wisconsin and Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. It looks to be a fascinating look at a surreal and turbulent time that did shape future politics. (Kim Hollis/BOP)