New Documentary Shows Personal Life of George Bush

By: Michael Oder Email
By: Michael Oder Email

He was the 41st President of the United States and only the second to have a son also become President. It's safe to say that George H.W. Bush's life has been very interesting. Now, a new documentary called "41" airs Wednesday night on HBO and shows a personal side to the former President.

Taking the politics out of the mix, writer and director Jeffrey Roth wanted to share the story of the man, not the President.

"You can pull any presidential politcal film off the shelf and what do they throw in there? They throw in cabinet members, family members, friends foes allies, everybody," says Roth. He thought since they had the man, why not ask him to tell the story.

"I just think that's a fascinating way to hear it," shares Roth.

The film includes a tremendous amount of Bush family photos and home movies, some that have never been seen by the public.

Roth had access to the archives at the Bush Library.

"We were able to get into their personal scrapbooks that Barbara has been making since they were 16-17 years old," says Roth.

Those books are kept in one room. In the back hallways of the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum on the campus of Texas A&M University, Bonnie Burlbaw oversees a massive collection. When Roth said he wanted to know the man, not the office, she knew where to look.

"So much of that is reflected here in the scrapbook that {George and Barbara Bush} have been making since they were married," says Burlbaw.

"She's still sending me stuff," laughs Burlbaw.

There are thousands of hours of videos and millions of photographs.

The depth of the collection is mind numbing. Preservation is priority. It's these images and video that take viewers to the core of George Bush.

"He's sort of the quiet president," says Roth.

"He was about getting things done and, therefore, he was never really out trying to sell. Maybe that's why he was a private kind of president."

Roth says he spent about two years talking with the former President.

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