|Index||5 reviews in total|
President Kennedy, far and away my favorite U.S. President, is put
under a virtual microscope in this extremely academic and erudite
documentary. Its focus: To scrutinize every existing scrap of public
record/information regarding Kennedy's propensity, or lack thereof, to
involve the United States in a land war in Southeast Asia; specifically
Vietnam. Interesting and thought provoking? YES...Entertaining? Not
intended to be in the slightest!
VIRTUAL JFK was totally successful in achieving this apparent intention. As a 2009 Orlando Film Festival entry in the Documentary category, I don't think anyone was expecting anything even remotely reminiscent of Oliver Stone's JFK. Yet, one has to ask oneself...Just who in the hell were they making this film for? Despite a keen interest in both Kennedy and everything related to the Vietnam "Conflict", I found the endless drilling the journalists did on certain topics to be numbing...Putting me into a near hypnotic state; causing me sometimes to lose focus on the seemingly endless back and forth conversation strings.
All in all, VIRTUAL JFK makes its case rather well: That Kennedy would have undoubtedly taken a very different course in Vietnam, had he continued in office, and on to almost certain re-election; One that, in the end, would have totally altered both our own history and that of the world! However, the utter intensity of the focus sometimes gets in its own way...Prompting me to give this an overall rating of
Any comments, questions or observations, in English or Español, are most welcome!
Speculative fiction is a tricky business. This documentary does a good job of staying grounded in fact. The hawks of JFK's time called his approach to international affairs appeasement. I call it the art of diplomacy. Reason and compromise leave all sides less than satisfied. JFK had the emotional maturity to resist calls for extremism. His South Pacific wartime experience tempered his judgment. Rather than classify himself as a hawk or a dove, he said "I am a democrat who was elected president, hopefully a responsible one." The use of Cuban crisis audio tapes where General Curtis Le May says you're in a pretty bad fix Mr. President and JFK responds, "Well you're in there with me" are most interesting. The fragile turning point of the Gulf of Tonkin is inescapable. Humphrey's career is an American cautionary tale in not speaking your mind.
The truth of the matter is Kennedy's presidency lasted but only 1000
In that brief time, one president was put in a position 6 times of using military force - the first, being almost immediately after his inauguration.
I think the makers of this film did Kennedy's legacy proud.
It's not so much 'what if,' but, 'how did he respond before' that's asked., and what makes this film's portrayal of Kennedy had he lived, so riveting.
While Kennedy's presidency was brief, in a way, it served to preserve his legacy, as it wasn't long enough to become tarnished by such events as the unfolding Vietnam war.
I would recommend this to anyone interested in learning about leadership - a quality that's sorely lacking in the politicians of the current time, who - instead of working for OUR common good, bicker.
This shows that the conflicts and crises of this world don't stop - and that something as bad - or much worse - faces us every day.
This is one leader who we're given a glimpse into seeing 'what if,' and it saddens and surprises.
I have just seen this documentary at the Interrobang Film Festival. This very engaging documentary will please, interest and captivate history buffs all over the country and possibly abroad with its profile of a war starting up and was out of control even then and a president that was hell bent on preventing that from happening or ant war for that matter. It presents thought provoking questions about Jfk and the war in Vietnam through rare footage not seen before ad great footage through out. I myself was born the exact same year that president Jfk was assassinated in Dallas and my father was drafted into the war when I was barely 3 so it held significant importance and curiosity for me. This film should be on the history channel, the military channel or on Pbs shows and i will not be surprised to see it there soon. People will really enjoy it and its short enough to fit into a one hour program. Recommended.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie is NOT "Vietnam if Kennedy had lived." I don't know how the filmmaker can get away with calling it that. This is a straightforward documentary with little depth, covering well-trodden ground with nothing new, no interviews with historians or first-person accounts, just old film clips and audio clips. I think maybe once or twice someone says "Well, Kennedy might have done things differently but who could say." YOU could say! That's why I watched your movie, to hear you say those things! Don't mislead us and claim this is a "counterfactual" when it's anything but that. What a complete waste of time this "documentary" was.
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