George W. himself appears in the film "George Washington" only on a dollar bill; a portrait of George (no-W.) Bush which hangs in one character's bedroom is far more prominent.
But our first president's spirit pervades these frames, which explore the distinctly American idea that any child can grow up to be a hero -- or at least lead the country.
The images of "George Washington" will haunt my dreams. A black boy in a homemade superhero outfit directing traffic that doesn't need direction; a man carving his child's pet dog into a coonskin-style cap; a train car seen in such a closeup shot that it seems a machine from another world.
Set in Winston-Salem, "George" tells of kids coming to terms with their poor world. One, George Richardson, suffers a congenital birth defect which makes his head sensitive and requires him to wear a protective helmet. Another, a waifish blonde, frets that she has no capacity for regret.
The adults in their lives experience similar roadblocks to achieving heroic compassion. George's guardian uncle compulsively cuts firewood -- and anything else he can find -- in their backyard.