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HORNS AND HALOS

USA, 2002 (MIFF 2002, Documentaries)

Director: Suki Hawley, Michael Galinsky

Horns and Halos careens straight into the heart of leftwing underground publishing versus hegemonic US political agendas. The pivotal characters include a 29-year-old punk rocker-cum-publisher an ex-crim-cum-muckraking author, and former Texas governor-cum-US president George W Bush.

In 1998 publisher St Martin's Press withdrew Fortunate Son, the first biography of George Bush, from bookstores. At the time the book, by J. H. Hatfield, was a no. 8 bestseller, alleging Bush had used cocaine in the early 70s. The publisher claimed a breach of faith with the writer, after a Texan newspaper revealed Hatfield had been jailed for attempted murder. Soon after, small publishing house Soft Skull, ran by Sander Hicks in between cleaning jobs and gigs with his punk band, expressed interest in republishing rights. Court cases and bad press ensued - dragging from months into years.

Mudslinging, misrepresentation and large-scale defamation: all here in a fascinating expose that rubs up against the mechanisms of media and politics.

Suki Hawley and Michael Galinsky have made two previous feature films together, Half-Cocked (1995) and Radiation (1999), and have directed and edited numerous short films.

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