JFK [1991] movie review – recommended

November 21, 2013 · Print This Article

I was a senior in high school when JFK [1991] came out. I do not think I ever considered going to see it. I was not very political at age 17. This week with all the buildup to the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination, now was as good a time to finally watch it. I am very glad I did.

JFK is a mesmerizing movie, especially for someone viewing with very little knowledge of the greater theories and historical facts related to that fateful day in Dallas. I watched the director’s cut which was 3 hours and 20 minutes long, but the movie almost never dragged, save for a few domestic argument scenes. From beginning to end the investigation grew on screen at an entertaining pace culminating in a courtroom scene that gave me chills when everything was presented chronologically showing how Oswald could not possibly have been the only shooter.

It also reminded me what a good actor Kevin Costner was in his prime, here in JFK playing a New Orleans DA, the only person to ever bring a case to trial trying to solve the mystery of Kennedy’s shooting. This is a great example of what the passion of one person can lead to. Everyone just let the Warren Commission’s findings be the end to the story, at least publicly. DA Garrison sacrificed a lot to try and bring back faith in the government, motivated by wanting his children to grow up in a country where justice prevailed, and that the actions of a few could not overthrow the democratically elected representatives of the people.

JFK also shows the birth of the power of the military industrial complex. The business of perpetuating war to benefit businesses that makes the products of war.

Come the end of the movie I actually felt afraid of the power of this military industrial complex and its ability to change and manipulate the government, and that no one, not even the president, could go against their fundamental interests. That such an act of bravado could take place in broad daylight and to this day go unpunished. Then I realized, such a thing could never happen today. That the Internet is truly a revolution for the people. That although I despise the ubiquity of cell phones, it also means nothing can happen in public without thousands of video accounts that all cannot possibly be suppressed.

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