GEORGE W BUSH
American Experience (May 2020)
A two-part biography on the life and career of the 43rd president of the United States.
Part of the storied PBS program’s ongoing series of presidential profiles, director Barak Goodman’s portrait chronicles Bush’s life and unlikely ascendancy to the White House, telling the story of a maverick seeking to come out from the shadow of his father and to assert the legitimacy of his uniquely contested election even as he was forced early in his term to turn from domestic matters to international concerns following the 9/11 attacks. While Bush, his family, and most of his close associates do not participate in the biography, Goodman does secure notables including mastermind Karl Rove. While not as critical of the administration as some viewers might wish, the portrait does confront its various controversies, outright lies, and blunders, often rightly placing the blame on the Commander in Chief, while still making an argument for the complexity of Bush’s presidency.