When is The World According To Dick Cheney on? Below details the Showtime air dates and times, as well as gives a preview of the highly anticipated documentary.
Supporters and critics will find much to debate and insights to be learned in Showtime’s grossly engaging documentary The World According to Dick Cheney, which debuts tonight on Showtime at 9pm ET/PT (additional air dates below).
The documentary is produced by award-winning filmmaker R.J. Cutler, whose work includes The War Room, The September Issue, 30 Days and TV’s current hit drama Nashville. Cutler presents a thorough examination of Dick Cheney’s life, career, key relationships and worldview in the almost-two-hour documentary.
Although filmed in June 2012, just a few months after the former vice president’s heart transplant, Cutler and his team worked on the project close to nine months before Cheney even agreed to have lunch with him to discuss it.
“I told the vice president that I approach my subjects not with preconceived notions or an agenda, but first and foremost with curiosity,” Cutler says. “I also told him that it was very important to me that this film takes the form of a dialogue and that his voice be as central in that dialogue as anybody else’s.”
Once Cheney agreed to having no editorial rights or control over what subjects Cutler would or would not discuss, Cutler and his team went to Wyoming where, for five hours a day over a four-day period, Cheney intimately shared his thoughts, feelings and intelligence on making decisions with enormous consequences. On the fifth day, he invited Cutler and his team to go fly-fishing.
In describing why he chose Cheney as the subject of his third film in his trilogy of political documentaries, Cutler tells how he saw an opportunity in continuing to explore what really makes a democracy run. “Whether political conviction is preferable to political expedience even when the political conviction veers towards demagoguery and zealotry,” Cutler says.
“The answers are not always what you would assume,” Cutler says. “Documenting the life of Dick Cheney offered me a chance to revisit these themes. Here’s a man who arguably is the single most significant non-presidential political figure in our nation’s history. He’s been involved in presidential administrations since Richard Nixon. Mr. Cheney is a monumental figure in American politics and rarely can one say that about someone who has not served as president.”
The documentary starts with a series of rapid-fire warm-up questions before diving into the heart of Cheney’s four-decade career.
What’s your favorite virtue? Integrity
What do you appreciate most in your friends? Honesty
What is your idea of happiness? A day on the South Fork with a fly rod
Your idea of misery? Loss of a family member
What’s your favorite food? Spaghetti
What do you consider your main fault? I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about my faults, I guess would be the answer.
Then cameras take us to a picturesque stream where close-ups capture Cheney’s shaking hands as he prepares his fly rod and tells Cutler it’s his first time since his heart transplant that he’s been out fishing. It’s a hobby Cheney considers an important part of his life requiring intense concentration, yet one of the few things he’s been able to do over the years that allows him to put everything else out of his mind.
Cutler transitions that tranquil moment with the realities of Cheney’s world with audio and news footage of 9/11. Cheney says people ask him how he felt at that moment, but for him it was never a feeling. “I didn’t think of it that way; I had a job to do.”
Cutler is quick to inject comments from Cheney’s staunch allies and fierce critics about Cheney’s role in leading our country. The documentary gives a quick overview of his younger, wilder days growing up in Wyoming. (His parents were Democrats. He flunked out of Yale twice. He was arrested twice for drunk driving. He credits his wife Lynne for getting his act together and going back to school to get an education. He got his doctorate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and originally planned to be a professor of political science.) The majority of the documentary is appropriately spent examining his climb to leadership in politics. (He was the youngest chief of staff in American history at age 34, he spent 10 years representing Wyoming in Congress, he was secretary of defense for George H.W. Bush and he was vice president under George W. Bush.) The doc thoroughly covers the pivotal role Cheney played in the George W. Bush administration leading domestic and foreign policy in a post-September 11 world, as well as his decision to go to war with Iraq. His relationships with George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and advisers David Addington and Scooter Libby are also explored.
“I’m sure that even those who disagree politically with Vice President Cheney will recognize in him many qualities that they believe are virtues, qualities that we value in our leaders. A fierce intellect, total conviction, loyalty, patriotism, etc. And one of the questions that the film asks is, ‘When are those qualities we want our leaders to have and when are they not?’” Cutler says. “Leaders of passion and conviction, I would argue, are crucial to a successful democracy — we are far better off with men and women who believe in things rather than those whose only convictions are about getting themselves reelected. But at what point does conviction serve a democracy, and at what point does it harm the democracy? That, to me, is a really interesting and important question, and one that we mean to explore in the film.”
When is The World According to Dick Cheney on Showtime?
Friday, March 15 at 9pm ET/PT and 11pm ET/PT
Saturday, March 16 at 7pm ET/PT
Sunday, March 17 at 3:30pm ET/PT
Wednesday, March 20 at 6:30pm ET/PT
Tuesday, March 26 at 8pm ET/PT
Saturday, March 30 at 12pm
Monday, April 15 at 3pm ET/PT
Thursday, April 18 at 5pm ET/PT
Wednesday, April 24 at 5:15pm ET/PT
Saturday, April 27 at 1:20pm ET/PT
* Note: Networks are known to make changes to schedules
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Photos Credit: David Bohrer/Courtesy of SHOWTIME