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JFK: 3 Shots That Changed America (2009)

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On November 22, 1963, three shots that killed President John Fitzgerald Kennedy changes everything
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Himself (archive footage)
Earle Cabell ...
Himself (archive footage)
Adlai Stevenson ...
Himself (archive footage)
Jesse E. Curry ...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Herself (archive footage)
John Connally ...
Himself (archive footage)
W.E. Newman Jr. ...
Himself (archive footage) (as Bill Newman)
Gayle Newman ...
Herself (archive footage)
Ron Cochran ...
Himself (archive footage)
J.D. Tippit ...
Himself (archive sound)
Joe Scott ...
Himself - Reporter (archive sound)
Lee Harvey Oswald ...
Himself (archive footage)
Bob Clark ...
Himself (archive sound)
...
Himself - New York Times (archive sound)
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On November 22, 1963, three shots that killed President John Fitzgerald Kennedy changes everything

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11 October 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

JFK: Three Shots That Changed America  »

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(in two episodes)
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User Reviews

 
Phenomenology of watching
23 March 2016 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

This is right up my alley. It's that Dallas morning that changed the soul of America and the days and months leading away from it in confusion and growing dissonance. It's purely visual, purely composed from what news cameras captured that day and beyond. We have intertitles that lay out a timeline and only news coverage from TV to usher us along.

I prefer the first part here that begins with ominously boarding a plane at Fort Worth for a parade in Dallas a few hours later and ends with Oswald fatefully meeting Ruby outside the court. The second segment traces the conspiracy and paranoia as viewers are not content with what they have been told happened and push for more revealing storytelling. We stray a bit far eventually, all the way up to 90s, but of course it's all part of what that was set in motion that Dallas morning at 12.30.

It's all in that first part that succeeds in shaking us up from our position of juggling stories, an intellectual position, and puts us back into life. A simple reading would surmise that we become the stunned viewer following events as they unfold. The murder is not seen in the timeline of events; Zapruder's film wasn't going to air for another decade after all and no one had images for it. A TV program is interrupted by a news bulletin instead.

Even better; some of the footage we see, composed from various cameras, weren't going to see the light of day until many decades later and are here probably assembled together for the very first time. We are privy to a tapestry of views that no viewer in JFK's time ever was.

But we actually get to inhabit a larger horizon. Not only are we a viewer who follows events, who can only watch as the earth quakes and truth comes crashing on the floor, certainties scattered in a heap. We are also the viewer who eerily anticipates, can't help but be. This is for you to deepen with perception. As JFK is coming out of the plane in the Dallas runway, is Oswald crouching on that room already? Are others somewhere in the same city now, anxiously waiting? And this is what captivates so much about the events; so many parallel universes to ponder suggest themselves.

Somewhere further afield lies the truth of what happened, we can't help but imagine, somewhere in some room there's someone who knows, ideally a list of names that go all the way up. JFK's story shows our deep need to surround ourselves with stories, to inhabit a horizon in which reality is charged with immanent meaning. Ordinary life is a bore to us. Deep down we want things to be not what they seem, to suggest doorways to meaning and this particular story is full of them.

But what if we stop attaching ourselves to narratives and simply observe the elusive nature of things as they rise and vanish again? What if we refrain from judgement that insists on what is true, and just let life open itself up as the playground of illusion? Now we can know how much we can say and what will have to stay incomplete; we have a softer, more vital truth in our hands. This is the room where Oswald crouched that morning, the film takes us to the very place. This is how it truly was inside the station with reporters clamoring in the halls while Oswald was interrogated beyond this wall.

Use this to train an eye that is open and patient with reality, not just as historic document. Allow yourself to be there, see intensely into what can be seen, allowing the rest to hover.


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