The Killing$ of Tony Blair

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The Killing$ of Tony Blair
Directed by Sanne van den Bergh,
Greg Ward[1]
Produced by
Release date
27 July 2016 (UK)[2]
Country
  • United Kingdom
Language English
Budget £164,000 [3]
Box office £17,730 (by 15 August 2016)[4]

The Killing$ of Tony Blair[5] is a documentary film presented and narrated by George Galloway (who also produced) and co-directed by Sanne van den Bergh and Greg Ward.

The film was released, theatrically, in the UK on 27 July 2016.[2] The DVD and download followed on 15 August.

Proposal[edit]

In August 2013, Galloway announced his intention to make a documentary film under the original title of The Killing of Tony Blair to be financed by on-line public subscription raised via the crowdfunding site Kickstarter.[6] With a title chosen for "shock value", the film concerns Blair's alleged destruction of the Labour Party, the hundreds of thousands of civilians who died during the Iraq war and the former prime minister's well-remunerated business interests since he left office in 2007; in Galloway's view, a third "killing".[6] In the Kickstarter promotional video, Galloway said: "It will take him all [the way] to The Hague, to a war crimes trial and to the slamming of a cell door shut behind him."[7] He promised to "uncover some startling new truths" about Blair.[8]

The documentary film maker Greg Ward was originally announced as the co-director of the project with Galloway,[9] and the film is intended to be released globally. The Kickstarter campaign was originally setup with a target to raise £50,000. By the end of the fundraising period, more than three times this amount had been raised through donations - £164,000.[10]

Reception[edit]

Henry Barnes of The Guardian has written that the claims for the project made by Galloway, "a good friend of hyperbole", do not match the content of the final film. It is, however, "an entertaining ramble through well-publicised allegations and a slick run down the rap sheet for those who need a reminder of Tony’s avarice".[7]

Dave Calhoun of Time Out described it as a "surprisingly sober documentary about our former Prime Minister's dirty dealings".[11] Alexa Dalby of independent film magazine Dog and Wolf, wrote that "this accessible and well-made film makes excellent use of archive footage" and is "wide ranging enough to cleverly flesh out the recent history even if it has no startlingly new information to add".[12] It is though "totally one-sided".[12] According to Geoffrey MacNab, writing for The Independent, "Galloway has assembled a formidable list of witnesses for the prosecution", MacNab believes "one of the weaknesses here is that there is nobody to argue Blair’s case".[13]

Jeremy Aspinall, writing for the Radio Times described Galloway as a "Michael Moore style investigator" who "is an urgent, entertaining, and yes, abrasive inquisitor".[14]

Allan Hunter, of the Daily Express, called it "a partisan documentary in which Galloway provides an entertaining commentary on the many sins of the former prime minister", before concluding that "all the accusations may be familiar but the cumulative effect is depressing in the extreme".[15]

"It is a meticulous documentation of Blair’s odious, immoral and almost unbelievable money-grubbing-from-despots venality", wrote Rod Liddle in an almost entirely positive review in The Spectator. "Galloway is a terrific presenter, dapper in his left-wing hat, all boilerplate rhetoric, biblical quotations and growled sardonic asides".[16] Wendy Ide wrote for The Observer: "While there is no doubt that Blair should be called to account, Galloway’s lack of credibility and air of insufferable sanctimony have the unexpected result of making you want to side with Blair".[17] Yohann Koshy for Vice magazine commented: "There's a tension between [Blair] as a malicious individual, obsessed with money and power, and a cipher for all that's calamitous with life in the early 21st century – Galloway ends the film by saying, after all that, that Blair is 'just a symptom'. But if Blair's guilty of everything, as the film suggests, then he's guilty of nothing".[18]

Box Office[edit]

The film was officially released on 27 July 2016 with a limited nationwide release across predominantly independent cinemas. By the third week in August 2016, the film has grossed £17,730.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Killing$ of Tony Blair". British Board of Film Classification. 23 June 2016. Retrieved 7 July 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Will Chilcot Catch the Bus?" YouTube (George Galloway channel)
  3. ^ "The Killing of Tony Blair by George Galloway"
  4. ^ a b "Film Industry Statistics: Weekend box-office figures". British Film Institute. 9 August 2016. Retrieved 12 August 2016. 
  5. ^ Bergh, Sanne van den; Ward, Greg (10 March 2015), The Killing$ of Tony Blair, retrieved 18 February 2016 
  6. ^ a b Nick Renaud-Komiya "'The Killing of Tony Blair': George Galloway in bid to raise funds for film about former PM", The Independent on Sunday, 11 August 2013
  7. ^ a b Barnes, Henry (7 July 2016). "The Killing$ of Tony Blair review – can George tumble Teflon Tony?". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 July 2016. 
  8. ^ Gover, Dominic (29 August 2013). "Donations Flood In for 'Jail Tony Blair' Film by George Galloway MP". International Business Times. Retrieved 7 July 2016. 
  9. ^ Andrew Pulver "George Galloway to turn to Kickstarter to fund anti-Blair film", The Guardian, 12 August 2013
  10. ^ Anoosh Chakelian "George Galloway: In for the kill", Total Politics, November 2013 (posted 22 October 2013)
  11. ^ Dave Calhoun, 'The Killing$ of Tony Blair'
  12. ^ a b Dalby, Alexa (22 July 2016). "The Killing$ of Tony Blair (2016)". Dog and Wolf. Retrieved 26 July 2016. 
  13. ^ MacNab, Geofrrey (25 July 2016). "The Killing$ Of Tony Blair, film review: 'As inscrutable and as contradictory as media baron Charles Foster Kane in Orson Welles' film'". The Independent. Retrieved 26 July 2016. 
  14. ^ Aspinall, Jeremy (22 July 2016). "Latest movies: Star Trek Beyond, The BFG, The Killing$ of Tony Blair". Radio Times. Retrieved 23 July 2016. 
  15. ^ Hunter, Allan (22 July 2016). "Film reviews: The BFG, Star Trek Beyond and Chevalier". The Daily Express. Retrieved 24 July 2016. 
  16. ^ Liddle, Rod (10 September 2016). "George Galloway is terrific in this meticulous demolition of Tony Blair". The Spectator. Retrieved 8 September 2016. 
  17. ^ Ide, Wendy (24 July 2016). "The Killing$ of Tony Blair review – sanctimonious documentary". The Observer. Retrieved 25 July 2016. 
  18. ^ Koshy, Yohann (25 July 2016). "George Galloway's Documentary About Tony Blair Is a Complete Waste of Time". Vice. Retrieved 26 July 2016. 

External links[edit]